Chattanooga selects landscape architecture firm to reimagine Montague Park

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / A sculpture titled "Some Waves Spark Stone" at Montague Park on Wednesday.

A steering committee has selected the landscape architecture firm Reed-Hilderbrand to help reimagine Montague Park.

According to a news release from the Chattanooga Design Studio and the city's parks and outdoors department, the design process will begin in early 2023 and will involve input from residents in nearby neighborhoods and groups that frequently use the space.

Reed-Hildebrand has previously worked on the Buffalo Bayou Gardens in Houston, the Bestoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York.

(READ MORE: Sculpture Fields officials go on offense over Montague Park as Chattanooga FC Foundation defends process)

"Montague Park can and should be a gem in our urban landscape," Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said in the release. "It has been in Chattanooga's parks system since the earliest days of our city, so we're excited to be working with such a respected firm to finally bring it to its full potential."

The city has used Montague Park many ways over the past century, including as a landfill, recreation center and now a sculpture garden.

The Chattanooga Design Studio has guided the urban design and landscape planning process for the space in partnership with the city's department of parks and outdoor recreation. A 10-member steering committee began meeting in the fall to select a national-level planning and landscape design firm to help create a comprehensive plan for its revitalization.

(READ MORE: Montague Park to see multimillion-dollar makeover as Chattanooga FC Foundation eyes soccer fields)

Sculpture Fields of Montague Park and the Chattanooga Football Club Foundation are leaseholders at the facility. They along with the Main Street Farmers Market have been involved in the selection of the design consultant and the planning process for the park.

"This effort aligns with our mission to help Chattanooga become a more whole, healthy, right and beautiful community," Krue Brock, director of the Chattanooga Football Club Foundation, said in the release. "We are optimistic because we have a lot of respect for what Sculpture Fields has accomplished and admire the work and capability of Chattanooga Design Studio."

(READ MORE: Safety of Chattanooga's Montague Park argued amid fight over future use)

Tom Bartoo, board member of Sculpture Fields of Montague Park, said in the release the organization believes the park "is well positioned to be a world-class example of inclusive, beautiful civic space that will enhance experiences and enrich residents and visitors equally."

— Compiled by David Floyd