A new railside public park from Ross Barney Architects rouses once-sleepy Rogers, Arkansas

Many designers would find an active railway an impediment to the creation of a new five-acre public park. For Carol Ross Barney, founder and design principal of Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects, the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad train tracks that run through downtown Rogers, Arkansas, were a local trademark worth venerating, not obscuring. The firm’s design for the new track-straddling Railyard Park embraces its industrial heritage while transforming it into a vibrant outdoor destination for the community.

Of course, designing an activated park space around a railway, which in this case involves freight trains passing through at a snail’s pace a couple of times per day, depending on demand, was

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