Downtown is a little friendlier, thanks to an unused piece of land that was turned into a â€˜pocket parkâ€™ with benches and trees and sidewalks.
It opened Tuesday at Archer and Main. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has the story.
Itâ€™s tiny by the standards of most parks, which is why it's called a â€˜pocket park.â€™ Tucked alongside a parking lot and warehouse on Archer Street, it's just 50 feet wide but the length of the block. It's the newest park downtown, built with $200,000 of city money and developed by the conservation group Land Legacy. Robert Gregory with Land Legacy: "We think parks downtown -- add to the quality of life."
The group once had eyes on this old car dealership - intending to bulldoze it and built a park on an entire city block. Preservationists objected - and the building was saved. It's now undergoing renovation for office space.
Part of the Vision for downtown is to improve the view. Instead of big parking lots with power lines and no trees, it could be a place with tree lined sidewalks and lots of landscaping that looks better and makes it nicer for people stopping by.
Churches have some of the nicest landscaping downtown right now. Boston Avenue United Methodist Church bought an eyesore of a building near the church and made it into a park. It didn't cost the city anything.
Mayor Bill LaFortune: "Thousands of people work down here and we want them to live down here and play here."
This new park - called Legacy Park - isn't part of the Vision project - but was designed to complement the future plans for downtown. Gregory: "Ten years from now - when all these projects are done, it will really be a plus - for downtown."
And there's no shortage of concrete downtown that could use some shade. The Vision project that will be part of that is called the centennial walk, and it will add lots of light and landscaping, concentrated on sidewalks that link these â€˜pocket parks.â€™
For more information about Land Legacy, visit their web site at www.landlegacy.com