Local News

Pullen Park rides to close for overhaul

Posted May 7, 2009 6:14 p.m. EDT
Updated May 7, 2009 6:48 p.m. EDT

— Pullen Park, a popular outdoor attraction for local families, will close for much of next year while city crews overhaul the rides and amenities at the south end of the park.

The upgrades, which include a new shelter for the park's historic carousel, are expected to cost about $7 million. Voters approved much of that in a 2003 bond proposal.

The shutdown will be the first lengthy closure at Pullen Park since it was founded in 1887 as the first public park in North Carolina.

Hillary Wayne, a nanny, said she and her young charge, Ellory Ferguson, visit Pullen Park at least once a week for a ride on the carousel and the paddle boats.

"It's pretty unique. I don't know where we'd go that would offer the same types of things," Wayne said.

Carl Speller hosts lunches for business clients at the park.

"That's going to be a tough one," Speller said. "I guess it'll give everyone a chance to venture out into other parks to see the other environments they have here in Wake County."

He said he's looking forward to a new concession stand at the park.

"It would make the system work better. I think a small face-lift would do it well," he said.

Plans for the overhaul haven't been finalized, and the city expects to offer the public a chance to comment this fall on the changes.

Aside from weather-related closings, Pullen Park hasn't shut down to the public for an extended period.

In August 2006, the lake and boats were closed for several days after 10 ducks died. The train also shut down that year because of vandals.

In October 2002, the carousel was closed for several months for renovations. Crews had to remove lead paint from the ride that could pose a danger to children.