photographs by Lynn Donovan, Jon Black

Above LeBauer Park, Janet Echelman’s aerial sculpture Where We Met serves as an awning for the people gathered on the 17,000-square-foot lawn. Miles of fibers, soft but sturdy, weave together Greensboro’s railroad history — illustrating the six lines that once converged in the “Gateway City” — and its past as a hub for the textile industry. As it changes shape with the wind, the colorful sculpture mirrors the park’s diverse, ever-shifting crowd of visitors.

On Greensboro’s “front lawn,” as park designer Nathan Elliott calls LeBauer, friendships are built: Kids twirl together on the large, tilted Spinneround and romp across the play area’s spongy terrain. Four-legged visitors find buddies at the dog park. Strangers get to know each other over table tennis and foosball, a putting green and a splash pad. And new friends connect over local food from the park’s three on-site cafés.

When the sun goes down, purple and orange floodlights set Echelman’s sculpture aglow, beckoning folks toward the lawn, where they spread out blankets for live performances or movie nights, held May through September. In the heart of a revitalized city center, LeBauer Park invites visitors to just be themselves — as if they were in their own front yard.

LeBauer Park
208 North Davie Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 373-7533

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Ayla Samli was a spring 2019 editorial intern.