Photos by William Wilson
Jennie Dean Park
3630 27th St. S., Arlington, VA 22206
Artist: Mark Reigelman
Materials: Painted aluminum, mirrored stainless steel, reclaimed cypress
Wheelhouse explores the industrial history of the Jennie Dean Park site through the lens of the great American pastime—baseball. Inspired by the mill that stood in this location in the early 1700’s and the park’s rich recreational history, the artwork references the structural anatomy of the region’s historical mills, while playing on classic baseball terminology. Starting in the early 20th century, the park became a major hub for Black baseball clubs in the region, where game days were lively social epicenters for the community.
Wheelhouse, which refers to the location of the strike zone that the batter considers ideal, nods to the mill’s cyclical function and is reflected in the installation’s 24 house-shaped slices extending up from the ground. The resulting structure is a permeable pavilion that recalls a dugout as well as the radiating spokes of a churning wheel. On the interior, mirrored stainless steel panels shimmer with the reflections of park activity and passersby, while a 20-foot bench crafted from reclaimed cypress offers visitors a comfortable respite. The radial repetition of the design offers both a thoroughfare and a gathering space, activated by the energetic uses, industrial roots, and sporting history that have shaped Jennie Dean Park and the surrounding community.
Watch a time-lapse video of Wheelhouse being installed.
Learn more about Mark Reigelman.
Learn more about Jennie Dean Park.