The dream of bringing a Civil Rights-inspired greenspace to the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods is still alive and well, with officials hoping the park will have "something" to offer by late 2015. Plans for Historic Mims Park — a 16-acre space that would consume vacant lots in blighted areas not far from the Georgia Dome — were first approved by the city in July 2012. Rodney Mims Cook, the leader of the National Monuments Foundation and the father of the idea, told Curbed Atlanta this week the process has been delayed by a lengthier-than-anticipated soil study for the city-owned land along Joseph E. Boone Boulevard. Some resulting small tweaks involving building locations will need to be mulled by neighborhood leaders, but Cook said he expects "something to be completed" in the park by the time the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit comes to Atlanta in November 2015.
Cook's "self-imposed" goal is especially relevant given some of the park's primary features, summarized as follows in a 2012 Creative Loafing story: "Statues of notable Atlantan 'peacemakers,' including the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, Julian Bond, W.E.B. DuBois, former Mayor Maynard Jackson, Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (who lived on nearby Sunset Avenue), former Mayor Livingston Mims, and Booker T. Washington, would dot the greenspace." The park will also be home to an 80-foot tall "peace column."
So what exactly might be completed next year? Cook wouldn't elaborate, but he did say cleanup should begin sometime in the first quarter of 2015. He also shed a little light on a new aspect to be featured in Historic Mims Park. The park is now planning for an increased presence of Proctor Creek, a small body of water on the premises. How exactly that will happen isn't overly complicated but is sufficiently boring, so we'll just say this — developers will essentially create extra basins to catch stormwater and "build a creek that way," Cook said. Rumor (and logic) have long held that the park might be one of the community projects that Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Falcons would help fund in connection with their new stadium, which is being built just down the street. Cook, though, was coy when asked about funding for the $55-million park. "We have several things that are being juggled right now that are very positive, and things are looking good," he said.
(For a more interactive experience, check out this brief YouTube video with a fly-through of the park and plenty of intriguing background.)
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep
· Proposal to transform vacant Vine City lots into ambitious 16-acre park gets greenlight from Atlanta City Council committee [Creative Loafing]
· The Great ATL Park-Building Boom [Curbed]
· On Downtown Fringe, $15M Offered For Strong Developments [Curbed]