Kentmere Parkway

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Wilmington, DE
United States
Kentmere Parkway

Proposed as part of the Olmsted firm’s 1885 report to the Wilmington Board of Park Commissioners, this parkway was designed to link Rockford and Brandywine Parks. Commissioner William Bancroft acquired the right of way for the corridor in 1889 and sent a proposed scheme to the Olmsted firm for comment. The Olmsteds refined the design, crafting a proposal with a more curvilinear route for the four-block corridor. Implementation proceeded in the 1890s, though it deviated somewhat from the Olmsted plan.

Extending southeast from Rockford Park, the parkway frames a narrowing canopied green that wraps through a collection of historical residences. The southern terminus of the parkway gathers together Lovering Avenue, aligned to its primary axis, and South Park Drive, which follows a sloping draw into Brandywine Park. While the parkway’s western drive forms a clearly defined street edge, the eastern drive curves more generously. The result is a buffer between sidewalk and street that that swells to accommodate larger trees and provide a generous cushion between pedestrians and vehicular traffic. As the parkway widens and turns into Rockford Park, its circulation becomes increasingly complex, with pathways crossing the expanded green. The vehicular routes likewise become more intricate as the parkway resolves conflicts between two street grids offset slightly from one another.