Town Branch Park will serve as a public park and green space in what is currently the Cox Street parking lot behind Rupp Arena. The park is one part of the larger Town Branch Commons, a master plan to create a long green space throughout downtown following the path of historic Town Branch Creek.
Lexington was founded on the banks of the Town Branch in 1775. As the city grew and developed, the creek served as a dumping ground for sewage and became a public nuisance and hazard. Town Branch was eventually buried and currently flows through culverts under Vine and Water streets. The water comes to the surface in the Cox Street parking lot.
In February 2013, New York City-based SCAPE/Landscape Architecture won an international competition to develop a design for Town Branch Commons. In its application, SCAPE wrote:
Recreation, urban development, and river ecology unite at [Town Branch Park]. Placed at the nexus of three emerging development zones, the Arena District, West Main, and the Distillery District, [Town Branch Park] is a central park for the city that weaves civic gathering space, athletic fields, and playgrounds into an ecologically rich riparian corridor. The park is a place to celebrate the pride of the city, the beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats, on game day and throughout the year.