Raleigh considering which buildings in Dix Park to save, demolish when city takes over park in 2025

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Monday, October 16, 2023
Raleigh considering which buildings in Dix Park to save, demolish
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When Raleigh takes over the lease for Dix Park, the city will have to decide what to do with some of the aging buildings on the property.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The City of Raleigh will be considering which buildings to save or demolish on Dorothea Dix Park.

There are 88 buildings on the property. An analysis found more than 60 percent of them should be demolished because it would simply cost too much to make repairs and bring them up to code.

There are already some ideas floating around about what could go in these spaces when buildings are demolished.

Raleigh has been sharing the property with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and that lease is coming to an end in 2025.

DHHS is building a new headquarters near North Carolina Art Museum. The City plans to make a number of enhancements once DHHS leaves Dix.

Some of the proposed park changes include a botanical garden, new regional greenway connections and adventure play zone.

A hotel and civic center could also be built once the current structures vanish.

"It's very bittersweet because there's so much history to this park," said Wendell resident Amber Peterson.

The Raleigh City Council will consider which buildings should be saved or demolished at its Tuesday meeting.

When Kim Brown was growing up in Raleigh in the 1960s, she could have never imagined what Dix Park would one day become: A space where families would come and hang out.

"To be able to come back here and do the daffodils, do the sunflowers, do the whole thing," said Brown.

She's upset to hear a large number of the buildings here could soon be leveled.

"The age on them, it may not be cost effective to keep them, but I feel like there are parts (to save)," said Brown.

The City of Raleigh purchased the 308-acre site in 2015 and since then, massive events have been held at the park.

The Sunflower Festival brings thousands of people to the park and folks from all over the world fly into town for the Dreamville Festival.

One event that's special for us at ABC11, Raleigh 4th of July Fireworks at Dix Park is held at the park too.