Loring Park

Designers: Horace Cleveland, Diana Balmori | City: Minneapolis, MN | Project Type: large parks
Date Visited: 10.13.12

Location: 351-413 5th Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55401
Size: 2.2 acres
Official Opening Date: 1883

Loring Park is Minneapolis’ grand park. Named in honor of Charles M. Loring, a Minnesota Supreme Court Justice, civic leader, and “Father of Minneapolis Parks” for his efforts in promoting parks, the park was designed by Horace Cleveland, a famous landscape architect and contemporary of Frederick Law Olmsted.

At 32.94 acres in size, Loring Park is the largest park in central Minneapolis. Major site elements include a small lake, walking/biking trails, and a skating rink.

More than a century later, landscape architect Diana Balmori designed the Loring Park Garden of the Seasons in collaboration with The Friends of Loring Park and was completed in 1999. It might be a bit obvious with a name like Garden of the Seasons, but the design aim of the new gardens was to ensure an attractive year-round experience, achieved by carefully selected vegetation. The pathways were also designed to align precisely to the points of a compass.

From The Friends of Loring Park:

The outer ring is known as the Tapestry of Green which features low growing junipers, shrubs, and grasses accentuating the subtle variations of the hue, and serves as a gentle introduction to the garden within. The middle ring is called The Wheel of Color and each of the eight individual wedges are largely filled with perennials of a predominant color — two each in blue, red, yellow, and white. At the center is the circular Inner Woodland Garden which features a collection of trees, which, as they reach maturity, will provide a shady canopy for native wild flowers that will gradually replace the present interim plantings of alien perennials and annuals.

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