Hamilton’s Marcum Park was named one of five Great Public Spaces in the U.S. Here’s why.

City leaders and other dignitaries, including U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, gathered Friday evening to celebrate an award recently won by Marcum Park, which the American Planning Association named one of five Great Public Spaces in America.

But the evening’s highlight happened afterward, during a cocktail party, when many of those attendees gathered on the fourth story of The Marcum development of apartments, restaurants and shops to take in the view of the park from above.

“This is the best view in town,” proclaimed Chase Engel, a leasing agent for the apartments as he and others mingled in the fourth-story common area for the apartments’ residents.

With the great public spaces award, the six-acre Marcum Park, located between North Second Street and the Great Miami River, joined such iconic places as New York’s Central Park and Chicago’s lakefront Millennium Park.

Most of the credit for the park belongs to Joe and Sarah Marcum and their adult children, who contributed more than $3.5 million to the park, said Brandon Saurber, Hamilton’s director of Strategy and Information.

“Things could have perhaps slowly been accomplished over maybe decades, but being here less than two years after the opening of this park, I can tell you, we would not be anywhere close to where we are today were it not for the generosity of the Marcum family,” Saurber said.

“Thank you to the Marcum family for making this game-changing investment into the quality of life for Hamiltonians now, and for generations to come,” he said.

The park and its RiversEdge amphitheater host free evening concerts throughout the summer, drawing rising national and regional music acts.

Mayor Pat Moeller said that when Marcum Park and the amphitheater were created, “a flag was put down here, stating that Hamilton is alive and well, and values quality of life.”

“To me, having one of the top five great public spaces in America means we have Top Five quality partners who were behind this project, it means we have Top Five city administration in America, and I believe we have that,” Moeller said.

Moeller described the park as economic development with a smile for Hamilton.

“Behind me, just before I started speaking, there was a guy juggling back there,” Moeller said. “I thought that was kind of cool, myself.”

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