A central London park is being completely transformed to accommodate new artwork and sculpture. Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square Gardens are being redesigned to include waterfalls and illuminated benches, as well as 46 new trees and a large oval lawn.
44 light poles around the garden will be deactivated and the site will be illuminated at night for the first time. New ponds with fountains border the surviving 9/11 Memorial Garden on the eastern edge of the gardens.
The architects hope the site’s design will encourage birds and bats to roost in the park’s trees. The plans for the gardens were presented in a poem to Westminster City Council in December 2021.
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(Image: Westminster City Council)
The 300-year-old site will be transformed into a green space with a shaded garden and wetlands. The Gardens, located outside the former US Embassy, are Grade I listed and contain a number of American monuments.
The Roosevelt Memorial and the Eagle Squadron Memorial are both listed and there is an unlisted 9/11 memorial. All of the square’s monuments would be preserved, except for the removal of the diplomatic gates (commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Paris) on the south side of the gardens.
Westminster Councilors feared that the park’s history might be sidelined in the construction of the new park, but voted in favor of the new site nonetheless. Councilor Paul Fisher said: “This should always be a historic war memorial park, not the Eden Project.”
The site is London’s second largest garden square and was originally created to offer city dwellers a rural oasis in the heart of the capital. The park will also include two new buildings that will house an education center, kiosk and restrooms. The designers hope there will be regular school and community visits.