New park planned for Second Street

Holly Avenue Neighborhood Assocation President Sharee Fowler chats with City Council Member Jeff MacIntosh about the proposed plans for the new Second Street park.

New park planned for Second Street
November 10
02:00 2016



The city is planning to transform a historic site on Second Street into a park for a thriving downtown neighborhood.

A meeting was held to show residents of the Holly Avenue Neighborhood plans for a new park at the intersection of Second Street and Shady Boulevard on Thursday, Nov. 3, at City Hall.

The project is currently in its design phase, with residents giving feedback on the design and what the park’s name will be.

City Council Member Jeff MacIntosh, who represents the Northwest Ward that contains the neighborhood, said it’ll be a small “pocket park” which is inexpensive enough to be covered in the city’s budget without using bond money. He expects construction to begin next year.

MacIntosh said there had been calls for years to turn the vacant city-owned lot into a park. It’s surrounded by apartments and homes, and is within walking distance of downtown businesses and attractions.

“It’s really ideally located,” said MacIntosh.

The design plans by Stimmel Associates showed walking paths, trees, benches, paved areas and a shade structure.  It’ll be a “passive park” ideal for activities like walking, sitting, picnics and children playing. The site, which is roughly three fourths of an acre, currently contains little more than grass, a few trees and a historic marker.

“It’s really an asset for the community, a green space for the neighborhood,” said Christy Turner, a Stimmel landscape architect.

The now vacant lot was the site of the first public waterworks system in the American Colonies in 1778. It tapped into natural springs and used bored logs that were joined together and buried under-ground to deliver the water a mile away to the town of Salem. George Washington stopped by the waterworks during a visit to the area in 1791. That history will be honored in the park with a colorful pathway denoting the waterworks along with log decorations.

The area was known as the Reservation and was undeveloped until its subdivision in 1903, which would eventually lead to it becoming what’s now known as the Holly Avenue Neighborhood in the west end of downtown.  The neighborhood has been through several, transitions over the years, but Sharee Fowler, current neighborhood association president, describes it as a close-knit community, which is diverse in both residents and housing, including some affordable housing. She said the park will be a great addition to the neighborhood and the greater city.

“We want folks to know it’s intended to be an accessible park to all of the residents in our community,” said Fowler.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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