Howard Park

South Bend, IN

The Lakota Group led the design of Howard Park, downtown South Bend’s historic riverfront park, for South Bend Venues Parks and Arts. The design reimagines the 12.75-acre site as a premier regional destination and hub of activity for downtown. The program includes two new park buildings, an ice rink, curving ice trail, an interactive water feature, custom playground, an event lawn, and a series of plazas, gathering spaces, and art gardens. The key driving force behind the design was to create a place that is both multi-seasonal and multi-generational, building upon the history of South Bend and embracing its location on the St. Joseph River. The design seamlessly integrates spaces using a cohesive vernacular of site elements, hardscape, landscape, and lighting, as well as dramatic topographical changes to surprise and delight park visitors at every turn. Within the first two months of being open, the City estimated 100,000 people visited the park.