Crystal Arts Center Torn Down for Becker Park Remake
Construction crews tore down the Crystal Arts Center at Becker Park in preparation for a major park renovation. The Crystal Arts Center served the community for more than 30 years and was the center of Crystal Frolics activities.
A date with the wrecking ball
There comes a time in the life of nearly every building, when it has to meet the wrecking ball. For the Crystal Arts & Activities Center at Becker Park, Tuesday was that day.
Originally built in 1986, the city used the center as a community gathering space, and as a place where bands would perform concerts.
Ray Dahl was a longtime City of Crystal employee who held onto photos of the building’s earliest days. He has fond memories of the venue.
“It was good acoustically, it was a great setup,” Dahl said. “And it was a pretty neat deal.”
Yet after a life span of more than 30 years, crews reduced the building to a pile of rubble in a matter of hours.
“The building doesn’t really fit with what we’re looking to do in the future,” said John Elholm, Crystal’s recreation director.
Better things are on the horizon for Becker Park
“The new park will have a performance area as well, but then there will be a playground,” Elholm said. “Instead of [the playground] being tucked behind the building like it is today, it will be right out in the middle of the park and it will be much larger. And there will be a spray feature in the new park. So there’s a lot of really fun things coming.”
The hope is that the newly-renovated Becker Park — along with its inclusive playground — will make it more of a community gathering place than it’s been in recent years.
“And just removing the fences, you can kind of see how that can become that kind of a place,” Elholm said.
However, that’s still a couple years away.
In the meantime, Ray Dahl admits he’ll miss the Crystal Arts & Activities Center.
“Yes, cause it was a lot of fun, I tell you,” Dahl said.
The new park will cost about $3 million. Construction will begin in the spring of 2019, and the park will open in the spring of 2020.