5 ashland oregon

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Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon Small-town center meets linear park

Ashland Central Plaza


• Lithia park was created in 1914 on site of the town’s old central flour mill downtown, at the central plaza, and followed Ashland Creek • Designed and landscaped by John McLaren, the designer of Golden Gate Park • Lithia Park is named for the lithium water that was pumped in from a creek several miles away. Ashland instantly became a health tourism spot. • Over time Lithia park has nearly doubled in size, but the original part of the park is on the National Register of Historic Places • Today downtown Ashland and Lithia Park are incredibly popular destinations for sitting, eating, playing biking and hiking, for tourists and locals alike


• Park has similar dimensions to the SE corridor • Creates a small town but vibrant dynamic that combines a small-scale, attractive activity center with developed and natural linear parks • A creek unites the retail and park elements • Surrounded by residential neighborhoods of mostly single-family housing, and connects with regional parks • Despite this small, walkable town, parking lots help to make the park successful.

Neighborhood commercial district Ashland CBD

City park

Residential Neighborhood (mostly single family)


Shakespeare Festival Theatre

lan e k Bi

Natural park

Lithia Park

Regional park

Rogue River N National Forest


Lithia Park

Path Shops and Cafes Outdoor se

ating & ma rk


Ashland Creek Parking Lot

Cafe and Market Area Restaurants front the plaza with patio seating by the creek in back A pedestrian street runs between the creek and restaurants A weekly market takes place in the alley

Developed Lithia Park

Natural Lithia Park

Narrow & linear Ped/bike path Playgrounds Duck ponds Rose garden

Minimally developed Linear park Pedestrian/cycling/creek trail Hiking trails

Japanese garden Tennis courts Bandshell Amphitheater Parking


• Ashland’s population is just 20,000, but it has always been a tourist town. Currently, the yearly Oregon Shakespeare festival draws 400,000 visitors per year over 8 1/2 months • Lithia park and the plaza are directly adjacent to Ashland’s downtown • If the SE corridor is to be successful as an activity center, what is it that will draw people to it?

Erin Machell CP243, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley, CA, Fall 2010

Precedent Analysis