Former Santa Fe Commons space makes debut as Thompson Park after $3.6 million renovation

The signature feature of the renovated park is a bandstand shaped like a paper airplane, a nod to the site's use as an airfield in the early 1900s.

After months of construction on a renovation project that cost $3.6 million, the former Santa Fe Commons off downtown Overland Park is open to the public again as Thompson Park.

The city council in 2018 approved plans to rename the park after businessman Frank Thompson and his wife Evangeline after the couple committed $1 million to help fund the renovations.

The renovation proposal caused some controversy among surrounding homeowners, who organized in an attempt to save the gazebo structure that had been the centerpiece of Santa Fe Commons. Elected officials ended up voting in April 2019 to approve a park design plan that included demolition of the gazebo and the construction of a new performance space shaped like a paper airplane, a nod to the site’s one-time use as an airfield.

Work on the project wrapped up in recent days and coincided with the reopening of parks equipment as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

In addition to the performance space, new features include:

  • Modern bathroom facilities
  • New shelters
  • A new playground
  • A central patio with a modern sculpture at its center
  • New monument signage

Here’s a look at some of the new installations: