Planning starts for phase 1 of Dix Park renovations
Posted November 22, 2019 5:28 p.m. EST
Updated November 23, 2019 9:20 a.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — The new year is expected to bring new changes to Raleigh's Dorothea Dix Park with work expected to begin on a plan to make it North Carolina's "Central Park."
“It’s about seven projects that really speak to this idea of opening the park and connecting it to the greater community,” said Kate Pearce, a Raleigh city official.
The plan includes some major projects, like building a bridge across Western Boulevard to connect Dix Park to Pullen Park and the Governor Morehead. The proposal also calls for creating the Gateway, envisioned as a destination plaza and play space along Lake Wheeler Rd.
“Imagine public art and gardens, and places to have cookouts with family and friends and the coolest playground on the eastern seaboard,” Pearce said.
The city will line up public funding in 2020, but the non-profit Dix Park Conservancy is contributing private money now.
“We're going to start investing right now in implementing things even before the formal funding can begin. call it 'phase now’,” said Sean Malone, a spokesperson for Dix Park Conservancy.
The early money will pay for the renovation of the All-Faiths Chapel with plans to make it a community-gathering place.
The city also is looking for a designer to begin working on the Gateway plaza.
It will take decades to realize the entire vision for Dix Park, but Malone thinks the community is going to love seeing the first phases of that big plan come to life.
“This is what we're gonna have in our community that is both for us and for us to bring people in from around the state and well beyond, I think it's going to be a wonderfully exciting year,” Malone said.
The city believes Phase One will take about 10 years to complete.
Planners say city residents will still have opportunities to share their ideas and feedback about the park's future as projects enter the design phase.