When you look at the general district – from Eddy St. to Logan St to Edison Rd. to the River – there’s not that many public green spaces in Swanson Park. Morris Park Country Club is by far the largest, but as a golf course, it’s also relatively inaccessible. At the center of this area is Trinity School at Greenlawn, a large campus with several historic buildings situated throughout. While it may not fit the contemporary definition of park – playground and active recreation space – primarily because it’s an active school, it could be used as a passive recreation park. I picture walking trails that celebrate the property. The setting fits well with old growth trees, large open areas, and especially the ornate, historic mansions.
Many of the old Studebaker landmarks throughout South Bend have been converted for public access, like the History Museum, with it’s beautiful grounds. But this site houses “Elm Court”, Clement Studebaker Jr.’s home after Tippecanoe. Built in 1908, it was designed by the architecture firm Green & Wicks located in Buffalo, New York and boasted South Bend’s first in-ground cement swimming pool. Currently, it sits behind a large boundary fence, another landmark of the Forgotten City, where the public doesn’t even know what’s there.
It’s like Willy Wonka’s Factory behind that beautiful fence.
In talking with the school, many people from the neighborhood currently use the site to walk their dogs. Having some signage along the perimeter that better introduces the accessibility of the site as well as a permanent walking trail that shows where public activity is encouraged would be two key steps in moving forward. This could also include some featured nodes/trailheads which highlight the most important views within the property. In this way, we could better take advantage of a public art resource for the City, which has we’ve previously mentioned in this iteration of the 100 Ideas project, is an invaluable way to generate vibrancy and attachment to our community.