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​​ ​​LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Rhett Roy

FIRM: Rhett Roy Landscape Architecture What portions of Riverwalk were you responsible for designing? I was responsible for designing three key areas: 1) On the north side of the river adjacent to the Symphony Condominium between the Broward Center and the Seventh Avenue bridge. 2) On the south side of the river adjacent to the Esplanade on the New River Condominium, from the Seventh Avenue bridge to Southwest Fourth Avenue. 3) On the south side of the river adjacent to New River Village between Southeast Third Avenue and the tunnel. I also was involved in upland improvement designs adjacent to the Riverwalk, including Symphony Condominium, Esplanade on the New River, New River Village Phase II (New River Landing), Smoker Park, Tunnel Park and Huizenga Plaza. I also contributed to the approval and site planning process for Las Olas Grand and Water Garden. What considerations or parameters were you charged with in your design process? In all these projects, we complied with the Riverwalk Master Plan and Design Guidelines and submitted plans for review by Riverwalk Trust and the City's Engineering Department. What physical elements of "the waterfront place" influenced your overall design? In designing several key Riverwalk areas, we considered the proximity of the park to the water and the banks of the New River and its existing amenities. We also had to make sure we acknowledged the existing upland improvements, while anticipating future upland improvements. What were the biggest obstacles to overcome in getting Riverwalk built and in designing your portions? Contracting the work through the public sector presented the greatest challenge in building these sections of the Riverwalk. Placating the various boards, committees and departments in the City and balancing their input with the best solution for the site was also challenging. What hardscape elements are still in place today that you influenced? What features are most unique? The New River Village fountains at the north end of the Southeast Fifth Avenue cul-de- sac (south of the river) are the most unique features we created. In hindsight, what would you have chosen differently for the areas? We have no hindsight. We only look forward to the future build-out of Riverwalk and adjacent upland parcels, learning from our experiences to date. What pleasantly surprised you when the projects were all said and done? The immediate acceptance and use by the public. Why did you choose the plant material that you chose? It was consistent with the Riverwalk guidelines, and it was our intention to provide a sub-tropical planting, representative of South Florida's climate. It was also our intention to use low maintenance plant material, much of it native and drought tolerant. Working on this project over 10 years ago, does the Downtown that grew up around the Riverwalk Park match any earlier vision far what you thought might occur? The initial Riverwalk Design Guidelines focused upland improvements to be consistent with the pedestrian scale of the Riverwalk. Future upland developments should contribute to defining a sense of place memorable to the public. What does Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale (the place) need in 2006 to make it an even greater space? Riverwalk needs the continuation of upland improvements that are consistent with and complement the Riverwalk experience. Editor's Note: We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the efforts of Mike Purcell, former Riverwalk horticulturist, who planted scores of native plant and palm species and carefully took care of our park for many years. And, we owe great thanks to the City's "Riverwalk Crew" who spend every day of their careers caring for this space. Credit must also be given to the City's Riverwalk project manager at the time, Steve Tilbrook, and to Bill Johnson, who oversaw Riverwalk. The Blue Ribbon Committee also provided guidance and shaping of the initial Riverwalk. - P.M. wvvw.GoRiverwalk.com

412 N. Andrews Ave., Ft. Lauderdale FL 33301

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