Spearheaded by the Cincinnati Parks Foundation and Cincinnati Parks in partnership with the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses as part of the efforts to revitalize the West End, CHAATRIK Architecture designed and fundraised to build a new urban space housing the mighty statue honoring a hometown hero, Ezzard Charles. This space is purposefully designed as a meeting point for community building, educating and inspiring little children, and uplifting anyone that calls the West End their home, paving a way for future leaders.
"Ezzard Charles is a Cincinnati legend. More than a Heavyweight Champion of the World, Ezzard Charles was a West End resident, entrepreneur, renowned jazz enthusiast, and a brilliant Renaissance man. We are erecting a statue to honor his legacy within Laurel Park along Ezzard Charles Drive in the West End of Cincinnati." - Cincinnati Parks Foundation
This plaza was planned by the late founder of our firm, Jaipal Singh, with a deep passion for broadening community impact using design as a medium and materials that last generations. The plaza arranges itself to create various levels and platforms upon which users can sit, stand, or play while gathering in the newly renamed Ezzard Charles Park. A deeper examination of the plaza geometry reveals the 20x20 square of a regulation boxing ring with turnbuckle locations marked by recessed lighting in the plaza floor. This detail honors Ezzard Charles’ boxing career experientially offering the opportunity to feel what it is like to be in the ring spatially. The statue is approachable from all sides of the plaza, enveloping anyone who steps into the ring with inspiration. The enthusiasm for this project resulted in over a 100 new trees, an accessible plaza, educational signage, and a bronze sculpture.
This design brings an iconic monument to the heart of the West End and this space permanently recognizes the Cincinnati Cobra, Ezzard Charles, with a bronze statue and plaza that celebrates his life and legacy.
Landscape Architecture & Community Planning – Implementation