We Bet You Don’t Know Who Designed Rosa Parks Circle
Alexander Calder isn't the only world famous designer with an installation in downtown Grand Rapids.
Rosa Parks Circle was originally named the Monroe Mall Amphitheater and built in the 1980s as part of a project to make a pedestrian mall on Monroe Center. But, almost 20 years later the Monroe Mall Amphitheater was to be redesigned.
The redesigned project was completed in 2000 by Maya Lin. Does that name sound familiar? That's because it's the very same person who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. Pretty cool, huh?
Maya Lin designed the amphitheater to mimic the different forms of the water resources in the Grand Rapids area: liquid, solid and vapor.
The Monroe Mall Amphitheater was renamed to Rosa Parks Circle in honor of the longtime Grand Rapids resident, Rosa Parks in 2001. Renaming the park was extremely controversial at the time and the vote to rename the park was barely passed by city commissioners with a vote of 4-3 in favor of renaming the park. The statue of Rosa Parks was added to the park in 2010.