Lafayette Park (Oakland, CA) was designed by Walter Hood in 1998 as a space for everyone, from people facing homelessness to business folk to families. Hood began this project in 1994 via research and interviews with people who were using the square. It used to be called ‘Old Man’s Park’ due to the men who spent the most time there. Hood said that “In a lot of people’s eyes they were homeless, but they’re more just a transient community.” So as not to displace these men, Hood built the park in stages and built a park that was not meant to exclude the homeless. This is a complex and controversial project with a long history that is worth some thought.
Led by Walter Hood
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