Parisite Skatepark, named after its proximity to Paris Avenue, was started by a group of skaters who took advantage of a vacant, under-utilized space beneath the I-610 overpass by building a DIY skatepark. With growing popularity, this informal public space drew the attention of city officials who questioned the legal implications of operating such a recreational space. The skaters formed a Louisiana nonprofit corporation called Transitional Spaces and began negotiations with City Hall to save the park. Since then, Parisite Skatepark has been officially recognized by the City, which designated the area under I-610 between Paris and Hamburg Street as a “Skatepark Recreation Area.” Transitional Spaces is dedicated to designing and implementing quality public skate parks that focus on safe recreation and educational opportunities for youth.
The Tulane City Center collaborated with the Transitional Spaces team to master plan the skatepark and roadmap a process for future construction phases on site. In addition to creating a master plan for growth and a design for the entryway and park's street edge, TCC connected Parisite with legal, engineering, and other professional support necessary to grow Parisite into a fully operational public space. Parisite is now the first official skatepark in the City of New Orleans.
A TCC|build spring 2014 studio designed the next phase of the skatepark and built components of that plan. Construction of the entry and 2,500 square feet of rain gardens was completed by another group of students the following semester as a seminar course in fabrication.
At the official grand opening and ribbon cutting for Parisite Skatepark in February of 2015, Mayor Mitch Landrieu praised the collaborative nature of this project, saying that “NORDC Parisite Skatepark is another example of how we are building dynamic, new partnerships to create exciting recreational options for our youth across New Orleans. Skateboarding is a growing sport, and this park space has been specifically designed for that purpose. I want to thank Spohn Ranch Skateparks and Tulane City Center for their generous donations to make this skatepark a reality, and our local skateboarding community for their commitment to maintain and support programming with our partners at NORDC.”
“Parisite Skatepark” sign by Heidi Tullman
Professional photos by Michael Wong
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Himmel
The City of New Orleans
New Orleans Recreation Department
Special Thanks to::
Anne Frederick of Hester Street Collaborative
Johnson Controls, Inc.