City Parks Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park
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Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park

205 E Douglas, 67202 | .30 acres | See Google Map

Wichita Park & Recreation is partnering with a design firm, art consultant and artists to reimagine Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park in the heart of downtown. The new design will commemorate the life and accomplishments of Lewis. The park will also serve as a secondary entry plaza for the Kansas Health Science Center - Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Feedback from Lewis’ family, stakeholders, and the community will help shape the final design. It’s expected to include ornamental paving, lighting, interpretative art features, and seating areas to relax, study and gather for special events.

Proposed Park Design

The current art concepts created for this project are the culmination of extensive research and planning by the family of Chester I. Lewis, as well as other stakeholders in the community and the two artists hired for this project. Matthew Mazzotta is a nationally-acclaimed social practice artist from New York who has worked in various communities across the US and abroad. Ellamonique Baccus is a well-known local artist who has created several significant projects in Wichita as well as in her hometown of Chicago. Please note the proposed design may see additional changes during the design process. The image below is conceptual and meant to provide a general idea of how the park may be reconfigured.

Content Examples for Panel Surfaces


Chester Lewis family photo - Dr. Gretchen Eick

Robert K. Nelson, LaDale Winling, Richard Marciano, Nathan Connolly, et a., "Mapping Inequality," American Panorama, ed.
Flying Safety Magazine, USAF, September 1955
Artwork, Ellamonique Baccus based on "The Enlightener" newspaper clipping from August 7, 1958. Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum

Park Renovation Project Updates

 

Documents

  
  
Chester I. Lewis Public Art - Artists Contracts Presentation.pdfChester I. Lewis Public Art - Artists Contracts Presentation
Chester I. Lewis Public Art - Budget Presentation.pdfChester I. Lewis Public Art - Budget Presentation

Chester I. Lewis

This park is named for Chester I. Lewis, the late prominent local Civil Rights leader who served on the legal team that argued the landmark 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also provided guidance to the NAACP Youth Council during the first successful series of student sit-ins at the Dockum Drug Store lunch counter in 1958. Their courage inspired other similar sit-ins across the country and helped bring about racial equality at places including restaurants, businesses and swimming pools.

 

​Bronze Lunch Counter Sculpture

The park renovation includes plans to move the bronze lunch counter sculpture to a new location where it will be prominently featured.

The Richard Devore family generously donated the sculpture to the Wichita community which was installed in Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park in 2002. The new location will be announced after the plans are finalized. In the meantime, it will be carefully preserved and protected in a storage facility.

Look for more exciting announcements to come and watch the video to learn more about the history behind the lunch counter sculpture.