As part of the larger Ohio River Coalition Regional Design Initiative SGA was retained by Potter Township and the Independence Conservancy to develop a park master plan for the newly established Tank Farm/Rocky Bottom Park.
Tank Farm/Rocky Bottom Park has quite a unique history, during World War II the site was used as a secret facility for the storage and blending of aviation fuel. The key features of the Tank Farm were six massive subterranean concrete storage tanks and the two “blending barns” constructed to appear as bank barns commonly found in Pennsylvania. Five of the six tanks have been removed from the site, but the sixth tank, along with the two blending barns and a small stone Wash/Generator House still remain. SGA incorporated these relics into the program of the park to provide further recreational, educational, and economic value to the park. The locations of the remaining, as well as former, storage tanks are used as a means to help guide the park circulation system. The main park circulation loop actually traces the edges of several of the sites of the former tanks in broad sweeping arcs to assist in helping park visitors visualize the sheer size of the former tanks.
SGA’s park master plan also incorporates several new park pavilions as well as recommendations for rehabilitating and providing safety improvements to the two blending barns to convert them into pavilions. Landmarks SGA, SGA’s associated architecture firm, performed a separate study of the blending barns and created a condition assessment and rehabilitation project report for the Township to use as a resource for guiding the rehabilitation of these key elements of the park. Along with recommendations for the blending barns, SGA’s plan proposes the construction of a new facility which would serve to house the offices of the Independence Conservancy, provide storage for maintenance vehicles, and create a large event space for park visitors and the Township.