Parks are strategic gaps in the urban landscape, largely defined by what they're not. They offer densely-packed neighborhoods some much-needed breathing room. How do you make a park disappear? Take away what's around it. That's what happened at Brush-Adelaide Park, a small play area abandoned by the Detroit Recreation Department decades ago. As the surrounding neighborhood disappeared and scrappers made off with most of its play equipment, only a faded wooden sign on a fence distinguished it from the surrounding fields. That's how photographer Joe Gall found the park when scouting locations to build a BMX park last winter. Now known as Brush Park BMX, you'd be hard-pressed to miss it.
According to Gall, neighbors initially "laughed it off" when his group asking if they' d mind seeing the disused park being used as a BMX course. So when the ground thawed in late March, they got to work making the lot usable.