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Here's the Albany skate park design

albany skate park plan design closeup

A closeup of the design for lower end of the park.


The city of Albany has posted the design for the skate park planned for Washington Park. We've clipped out the renderings for easy viewing -- they're in large format after the jump.

The park will be built at four rundown tennis courts on the park's southwestern side. These courts -- known as The Blue Banks -- are already a de facto skate spot. (It's been the site of Go Skate Day for the last few years.)

The design is by the action sports division of the design firm Stantec. Kanten Russell -- a project manager for Stantec, and a former pro skateboarder -- was at a public meeting last month at the Washiington Park Lakehouse to discuss plan. Much of what he said then matches what's in a city statement accompanying the design:

The Skate park in Washington Park project includes the construction of a new 20,000 square foot skate park on four underutilized tennis courts located in the southwest quadrant of Washington Park. The skate park will make use of the existing tennis court surface and take advantage of the terraced construction of the courts. The surface will be complemented with a diverse range of obstacles, features, and reflect input from community residents and Albany skaters collected during the design process. The work will generally concentrate on the three lower courts allowing for a potential future phase to develop the upper court, should funding become available.

The budget for the project is $200,000. About half that is coming from a state grant, another portion from the Washington Park Conservancy, and the rest from money the city has already set aside for these sorts of project.

The city will soon be the construction contract up for bid, and it's aiming for a completion sometime in November.

Look up

The renderings are above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up.


We got in touch with Ted Cangero, who had surveyed local skaters ahead of the June design meeting about their preferences for the park, for his reaction to the design. An from an email exchange with him:

The design changes largely reflect the community input. The features within the design are not repetitive and generic like before. There is a more cohesive flow to the design. The addition of the roller and the A frame improve the approach to (and return from) the eastern edge of the park.
The bank to ledge is brilliant in its simplicity. Skaters can approach from approach the feature from a dozen different directions. The different approaches won't cause collisions because there is a clear right of way.
The empty flat space around the bank to ledge is smart. That space allows beginners to learn to skate flat ground. The bank with no features will be useful to beginners as well.
Overall the process has been positive. The city, community members, Stantec, and local skateboarders came to the table and are making a park happen. I have seen the skatepark process in other cities devolve into shouting matches stemming from decade old grudges.
Props to all parties in the city of Albany for being grown ups. Looking forward to the next step.

Earlier on AOA

+ Albany is finalizing a design for a skate park

+ Albany planning a skatepark for Washington Park (2014)


The rendering should show the concrete covered with spray paint since this will immediately become a graffiti magnet.

I can't comment on the quality of the layout, not being a skateboarder, but I like the idea that there was custom work done to make a unique feature in the park - the 'A' in the 'Albany Quarter Pipe'. Looks like a good spot to place a fisheye-equipped camera :D

Long over due. Glad this is moving forward
As far as graffiti....its art. It will enhance the look @ace

I agree with Rachael. Skate parks (such as the one in Wellfleet, MA) have embraced graffiti and it's only enhanced their looks...and the big great white shark graffiti there is also timely!

i dont see one flat bar

So... here we are in mid November and still no sign of construction starting. What's up?

I inquired and the person from the city said that construction will not begin in 2016. They said it will be done by June 2017. I hope that date doesn't get pushed back even further.

I've have tried to be really positive about this project from the beginning. And I AM grateful for all the city has done but...

...there was a packed meeting in Nov 2014, with everyone encouraged to give their email for a mailing list and then...not a peep for 19 months.

- when we finally heard, the project seemed like a done deal. There was set budget, a design company was chosen and a tight deadline in place. Sure, the opinions of local skaters were taken into account in the revisions to the design, but this isn't how any local skaters saw the process progressing. This is especially frustrating since the #1 rule of skatepark design is get the local end users involved from the start.

- Is the current plan really Phase 1 of this park? Are additional phases actually being considered, or was that just something skaters made up on their own? I've actually never heard anyone from the city mention Phase 2. Because most skaters agree that the current project as presented does not represent a full skatepark for a city the size of Albany (and since it will be the only concrete skatepark in the region, it'll get a LOT of use for sure).

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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