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Tree of Sports, Sixty-Foot Tall Simulated Tree

The $38.5 million, seven-acre, Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana opened to eagerly awaiting sports fans and museum patrons. The space consists of twelve outdoor exhibits, including a miniature baseball field, hockey rink, football field, race car tracks, basketball courts, and the Pete and Alice Dye Golf Experience. The centerpiece is the 60 ft. tall simulated tree called the Tree of Sports.

The Tree of Sports serves as an iconic play feature and a unique sightseeing point, overlooking the entire museum property. The 35 ft. wide root base provides ample activity space packed with children’s interactives, climbers, slides, and other attractions. The simulated tree is composed of a complex primary steel frame with a structural shotcrete application. The bark textures and iconic sports equipment sculptures were artistically hand carved and textured to resemble burl wood. Topical paints and aging compounds delivered the coloration of a natural tree. Multi-colored custom fabricated foliage provides leaf layering that accentuates the tree top.

In addition to building the Tree of Sports, COST constructed the Pete and Alice Dye Golf Experience. This attraction includes eighteen putting greens which are scaled versions of iconic golf holes. These holes were specifically selected from Pete and Alice Dye-designed golf courses. There are also nine smaller putting greens for younger children.

COST’s scope included: final design-assist, shop drawings, 3D structural and secondary steel layouts, structural engineering, interactive equipment, and project development.