Pullen Park readies for reopening
Posted November 17, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Crews on Thursday were putting the final touches on Pullen Park near downtown Raleigh in preparation for its reopening ceremony on Saturday.
The park's 124-year-old amusement center has been closed since December 2009 so that workers could give an estimated $6 million overhaul to the carousel house, welcome center, concessions building and restroom.
Other site improvements include a new entrance, event spaces, playground, underground utilities and picnic shelters.
The city will hold a ceremony and ribbon cutting, beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, that will include remarks by Mayor Charles Meeker and other city officials.
"I think I'm most excited about the children coming back," said Richard Costello, director of Lakes and Amusements for the city's Parks and Recreation Department. "We have a new playground. The train is completely refurbished. The carousel looks wonderful."
The park's lake, Lake Howell, was also drained and dredged for regular lake maintenance, and workers installed a new boat dock with a new apron and geothermal energy system for the lake.
More than 1 million people visited the park in 2009, and 500,000 rode the carousel, miniature train and other rides.
Pullen Park is the 91st most visited park in the United States, according to the Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence.