Catering To Curling

Catering To Curling

7 min read

A Chaska redevelopment project pays tribute to its industrial past while embracing a favorite local sport

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“Chess on Ice” has come a long way from the frozen ponds of Scotland.  

While the sport of curling rewards great skill and precision, Chaska, Minn., wanted to reward the community with a great place to play, practice, compete, and celebrate. With a design led by 292 Design Group, now JLG Architects, the Chaska Curling & Event Center opened its doors in the winter of 2015, alongside a vibrant redevelopment of Firemen’s Park in downtown Chaska.

Welcome To The Jungle

Touring the park and center today, it’s hard for anyone to imagine the site was once an industrial brickyard, later referred to as “the jungle.” In the 1950s, when the city’s brick industry went bust, the park was home to the deteriorating remains of a clay hole and beehive kilns from the principal brickyards.

After the Minnesota River flooded, the fire department received permission from the property owners to clear the land and create a park. Each weekend after, more than 20 firefighters sought out donations and labored with pickaxes and shovels to clean up the park and build a beach, baseball diamonds, and a picnic shelter—opening the park in 1955. Initially, the city leased the land from Christian and Charles Klein, but in late 1961, shortly after Charle’s passing, the land was donated to the city. (Olson, 2008)