Raleigh residents view master plan for Dorothea Dix Park one last time

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh residents got their last look at the master plan for Dorothea Dix Park before it goes to the city council.

"For Raleigh to be a great city it's got to have a feature like this," said Nancy Gardner, of Raleigh. "All great cities have something like that."

Gardner was one of the hundreds of people who came out to the Raleigh Convention Center for the presentation, along with a variety of renderings and interactive exhibits.

"It really is to share and inspire the community about the future and vision of Dix Park," said Kate Pearce, project manager for the park. "People are learning about all the six different landscapes, talking about what we're going to start with first and hopefully building momentum to see this project through to completion."

For the last 18 months, city leaders have gotten feedback about what features the 308-acre park should contain.

The master plan will transform the former mental health hospital campus into an urban park.

The plan will divide the park into six different landscapes that offer a setting for everyone.

The landscapes, if the plan proceeds, will be called "The Creek," "The Grove," "The Meadow," "The Ridge," The Gateway" and "The Valley."

The first three are more naturalistic whereas the last three will be used for more civic space.

The Department of Health and Human Services still has administrative headquarters on the grounds until 2025, but the project manager said they are actively looking for new space. Those buildings will be demolished and turned into space for park support.

"I think it's a great idea," said Clif Lavenhouse, of Raleigh. "Hopefully it will increase the visibility of Raleigh. At one point, Raleigh used to shut down at night. For the ordinary people that are just visiting and just coming to spend a day, it should be a great venue for them to explore what Raleigh has."

This is the last community and the result of a 22-month old planning process.

"We were just talking about how this is going to be our own little Central Park or High Line in New York," Gardner said.

The Raleigh City Council will vote on the project on Feb. 19.
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