Rebuilding Fort Kid

Parks and Recreation Director

Sheryl Ely
[email protected]
(865) 215-4311

Lakeshore Park
5930 Lyons View Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

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Fort Kid is located at 1050 World's Fair Park in Downtown Knoxville. The park closed April 6, 2020 for new construction and reopened on March 6, 2023.

Look below for construction archives.


Fort Kid Now OpenAfter years of planning, Mayor Indya Kincannon and other community leaders cut the ribbon on the new Fort Kid Park, Monday, March 6, 2023. While some finishing work is still being completed at the site, the new playground is now open to the public.

Improvements at the site include:

• A new accessible play surface
• A fort tower and slide
• Climbing and balancing poles
• A fully- accessible merry-go-round
• A toddler play area
• A new, full- accessible pathway
• And, new site grading and soil enhancements.

View March 6, 2023 News Release
View Photo Gallery of the new Fort Kid 



Visit Knoxville Donates Funding of Park Amenities

On September 6, 2022, City Council accepted a $44,456 contribution from Visit Knoxville to amend the contract with Great Southern Recreation for the purchase of new park benches, a decorative gated entrance, and new fencing at Fort Kid. Because of increased costs for building materials, these items were initially removed from the project scope until additional funding could be secured. The benches will be black powder coated and the decorative gate at the park entrance will match the colors of the centerpiece tower play structure.

Fort Kid benches

View Engineering Project Sheet [PDF]


JULY 18, 2022

Project Update

On June 14, 2022, City Council approved a contract amendment with Design and Construction Services, Inc. (DCS) to complete the site prep, grading, sidewalks, and stone work for Fort Kid in the amount of $399,757.  $250,000 in funding has been provided by the Downtown Knoxville Alliance for this phase of the project with the balance funded through the City’s Parks and Recreation budget.

Grading and site prep work has begun by DCS for the new park at Fort Kid.  This phase of construction, to be completed in September, will include concrete work to create a new accessible sidewalk from World’s Fair Park Drive to provide better connectivity between Knoxville Museum of Art, Fort Kid Park, and the parking lot. Additionally, stone work will create additional access to the play structures and a seat-wall around the west side of the park.  Once DCS’s work is complete, new play structures will be installed by Great Southern Recreation as represented in the renderings on this page. The City horticulture team will then install landscaping.

JUNE 1, 2021

Agreement Approved for $450,000 Fort Kid Play Structure

City Council on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, authorized Mayor Indya Kincannon’s staff to finalize an agreement for up to $450,000 with Great Southern Recreation to design and construct a unique, safe and more accessible play structure at Fort Kid. The original 30-year-old play area and a decaying retaining wall made of railroad ties were removed last year due to safety concerns.

Read Full Press Release

Presentation to City County - June 1, 2021 [PDF]

Fort Kid Plan - Dad and child

Click images for larger views in PDF format.

Fort Kid Plan - Overview Fort Kid Plan - Rubberized surface Fort Kid Plan - Kids Climbing

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Downtown Alliance Contributes Up To $250,000 Toward Accessible, Interactive Entryway to Fort Kid

As part of the reconstruction of Fort Kid, an accessible entryway path with interactive features is being funded through a contribution of up to $250,000 from the Downtown Knoxville Alliance – bringing City and partner funding for renovating the Fort Sanders play area to a total of as much as $750,000.

Hedstrom Landscape Architecture has developed a concept for the slope and path to connect World’s Fair Park Drive with Fort Kid. The terminus of the sloped path at the top of the hill would be at a newly created accessible entrance to the play structure and a new accessible parking area.

Read Full News Release

Fort Kid Community Survey Summary [PDF]

Fort Kid Slope
Concept for the slope between Fort Kid and World's Fair Park Drive Developed by Hedstrom Landscape Architecture - conceptual and subject to change as City finalizes the design. Click here for larger view in PDF format.

PBA Property Development Project Status

MARCH 12, 2020

Online Survey and Images Released as Community Ideas Are Sought for Renovation of Fort Kid

Read Full Press Release


Photo of Original Fort Kid