A Piedmont Park expansion set to open today will not only provide a 12.5-acre "pick-up field" and several new entrances to Atlanta's marquee park — it'll serve as a new gateway for denizens of Ansley Park, Morningside and other areas to the Beltline and greater Midtown. Known as Piedmont Commons, this new chunk of park is wedged between Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive on formerly polluted land used as a dumping ground. It marks the completion of Phase I of Piedmont's Park eventual 53-acre expansion, bringing the total acreage to nearly 200. Construction stalled during the Great Recession but fired up again following sizable donations and grants. As Piedmont Park Conservancy's president told Creative Loafing: "From the beginning of this portion of the fundraising we've been saying that this creates a walkable connection between Ansley Park, Virginia-Highland, Morningside, and Midtown."
CL reports that nearly 41 acres of the $43.5 million expansion plan are now open to the public. And a donor has contributed funding to start the design of the second and final phase of the expansion, in an area next to Amsterdam Walk. Land there could become a community garden and new playground. Other additions could include a skatepark in the new Piedmont Commons area, a la the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park skater haven along the Eastside Trail.
If you'll recall, 35 acres of the Phase I expansion were opened in April 2011. That chunk included an interactive fountain, expanded dog park and wetlands. Shouldn't all this start to help Atlanta's dismal rankings on those national parks-per-capita lists?
[Above image via Piedmont Park Conservancy]
· Piedmont Park unveils 13 new acres, opens additional entrances as popular greenspace expands footprint [Creative Loafing]
· Next Chunk of Piedmont Park Expansion Launches [Curbed Atlanta]