Local News

Future of Dix Property Remains Uncertain

Posted May 21, 2007

— A forum is being held Monday to address the future of the Dorothea Dix property.

For 150 years, the land has been home to the Dorothea Dix Hospital. The Raleigh hospital is closing in late 2007 or early 2008 and moving to a new facility, the new Central Region Psychiatric Hospital, in Butner. The facility's move opens up possibilities for the land.

North Carolina legislators currently are considering a number of proposals for the 306-acre campus in downtown Raleigh.

A plan from the Urban Land Institute calls for a 215-acre park with mixed-use development.

Another plan, backed by the Friends of Dorothea Dix Park, calls for the creation of a 306-acre park and have development only on the perimeter. In March, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and The Wake County Mayors Association voted in favor of preserving the campus as a park.

There is also debate whether the state will sell the property to the city at all.

Monday's forum, sponsored by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, is set for 6 p.m. in the Raleigh City Council Chambers. This event is open to the public, but seating is limited.


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  • rdu May 21, 2007

    Drive through Dix now. Its boring. Ugly old buildings and chain link fences. No lake, no river or creek. The only thing that stands out is the section with the large oak trees and the view of downtown from the top of the hill. It has alot of potential but it would take work and off course money. I usually go to Lake Johnson, Lake Crabtree or Umstead if I want to go to a park. I think they should develop part of it and save some for a park space. I would build the park up on the hill over looking downtown-save the view of downtown--such as Mont Royal Park in Montreal or even Majors Hill Park in Ottawa. Across the street is mixed use Byward Market (shops, cafes, farmers market, museums)- pretty nice design and a gathering place for everybody. You cant beat the view from the statue of Champlain overlooking the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill. Why not move the statue of Sir Walter Raleigh to the top of Dix Hill (or the Andy and Opie ones--they look pretty lonely in Pullen Park) :-)

  • jnrobrien May 21, 2007

    As a parent who has had the support, education and loyalty of DDH (outpatient child unit) since 1999, I am terrified to think what is next. You can all joke about what should be done to the property, some of your comments are so intelligent and amusing that for a brief moment, I almost forgot the nawing despair I feel having a mentally ill child and the burden of long distance drives for care? There is nothing, absolutley nothing funny about this. I am embarrassed to be part of a society that so acceptingly advocates for the closure of this historical site. I can only imagine the flips Dorthea is doing in her grave. And please do not think I am not educated in everything she stood for. Both of my parents worked there for a combined service of almost 45 years. This is gut wrenching as a parent, so please, keep your funnies coming. I just hope that you never, ever experience mental illness first hand. Where are you going to go? The park? I am sure there will be plenty of room somewhere??

  • fredssmithisnotmysenator May 21, 2007

    I think Fred Smith should buy the land, cut down all the big trees and put a house on every 1/4 acre.

  • freddie cadetti 72 May 21, 2007

    If it becomes a park, will it be served by the light rail train? Wouldn't take more than another 200,000,000.00.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy May 21, 2007

    It's funny how so many of you are against "Developement" Of course, I'm guessing you weren't against it, when YOU were looking into moving to this area, but of course, as LONG as you have yours! What we SHOULD do is move everyone back out of this area that wasn't born here, then we would have plenty of room for parks! Who's with me? I'm thinking now that I would enjoy a few parks!

  • benia May 21, 2007

    yes, I agree with Pilot2B, Try to find a family member to contest this.

  • Harvey May 21, 2007

    >>I think we should put a mental institution there.

    Good one. LOL

    Then maybe we could turn Fayetteville St. into some kind of "mall" instead of a street to help bring business to downtown. :P

  • monkey_boy09 May 21, 2007

    I think we should put a mental institution there.

  • trunkmonkee1971 May 21, 2007

    I guess the facilty would make a decent school as is. The campus is big enough for a couple of schools actually.

  • jim2dart May 21, 2007

    Downtown parks are just for the crackheads and homeless. Get something useful out of it.