What’s long been promised as Atlanta’s largest park is coming to fruition, claiming a site that’s majestic for both its preserved, urban greenery and colossal, man-made scars.
In the waning days of 2017, the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry made news when city officials released the most detailed renderings to date of what the transformative project (100 acres larger than Piedmont Park, eventually) will look like.
In 2016, the city’s aptly named Driller Mike began a $300 million tunnel-boring mission between the Chattahoochee River and Hemphill Water Treatment Plant that links to the quarry. Meanwhile, a $26 million Phase 1 initiative is underway to make the reservoir’s surroundings into public-accessible green space.
Once drilling is complete, officials tell Curbed Atlanta it will take between 30 and 90 days for the reservoir to fill with water redirected from the river.
Ultimately, the reservoir will hold up to a month’s worth of clean water for Atlantans. Elsewhere among the eventual 280 acres will be multiple green spaces for recreation, playgrounds, fields, walking trails, and connections to the Beltline’s Westside Trail and under-construction Proctor Creek Greenway.
Imagine the importance of this place to Atlanta in, say, 2030.
For this installment of Visual Journeys, we set out to document the property before the transformation. Please note that this was a guided tour, arranged with City of Atlanta officials, and that everything seen below remains off-limits to the public until next year.