Magellan Street Garden

Magellan Street Garden is a community garden in Algiers led by Tony Lee, a retired electrician, veteran, and founder and Lead Gardener of the Parkway Partners Community Garden. In collaboration with Tony, Small Center designed and built the garden layout, rain retention bed, pavilion, fencing, and raised planting beds.

Project Dates

January 2013–May 2013

Context

Algiers, like many New Orleans and US neighborhoods, has poor access to fresh food and many vacant lots. As a way of beautifying neighborhoods and providing community use space Parkway Partners, a non-profit organization, turns blighted lots into community gardens. Magellan is one of over 43 Parkway Partners community gardens, and the lead gardener of Magellan is Tony Lee.

Small Center Engagement

The Small Center Design/Build studio worked with Tony to design and construct a shade structure that collects rainwater and uses it to feed a constructed wetland on site. The structure also houses raised beds, tool storage, and ground cover strategies to support Tony’s aim for a community resource and teaching space.

Led by Tulane faculty Doug Harmon and Sam Richards, a team of 12 students worked on the design and fabrication of the garden in 12 weeks. The team devised a kit-of-parts strategy, which enabled them to build the roof structure, planters, and benches at the school’s shop and then transport them in one moving day. The garden design serves as a demonstration of rainwater collection and onsite water management strategies.

Partner Organization

Magellan Street Garden‘s mission is to teach both youth and adults about the importance of health and the benefits of gardening.

Outcome

Tony Lee has hosted scores of youth groups, visitors, and community events at the garden space and continues to grow fresh produce for neighbors and to sell to local restaurants. If you would like to replicate the planters for your garden, you can download instructions, here. For an interview with Tony about his experience working with us, please click here.

Collaborators

Magellan Street Garden

  • Tony Lee

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Doug Harmon (Design Lead)
  • Sam Richards (Co-Faculty)
  • Emilie Taylor Welty (Project Manager)

Students

  • Sarah Cumming
  • Michelle Finan
  • Elisha Grossman
  • Annelise Haskell
  • Kristen Korndoefer
  • James Lacroix
  • Katlyn Leach
  • Gregory Mathieu
  • William Nemitoff
  • Devin Reynolds
  • Kyle Ryan
  • Fan Xiong

Staff

  • Maurice Cox
  • Dan Etheridge

Special Thanks

  • Cecil Howell (Landscape Architect)
  • Walter Zehner (Structural Engineer)
  • Dash Lumber
  • Parkway Partners
  • Yellawood

Press and Awards

Award of Merit

AIA New Orleans Design Awards

Fighting Floodwater to Grow A Garden and a Healthy New Orleans

Next City

With Some Help From Tulane, a Community Garden Sprouts Into a Hub for Learning About Food and the Environment

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

After Katrina, Tulane's Architecture School became a Community Builder

NPR