Description of the Hub from the Master Plan
The Hub is composed of pavement bays organized around a central access point. The bays provide an event space that can be used year-round without damaging or impacting more fragile landscapes and are proposed to be surrounded by a cathedral- like space of tall pine trees. This proposed pine forest, potentially to be long leaf pine, builds from the existing loblolly stand nearby, while offering a contrast to the oak-dominant plantings found throughout the park. Covered outdoor pavilions, paths, and picnic tables are scattered in the pine forest.
The star-like layout of the bays means that they help orient visitors to five different parts of the park. In this way, the Hub will transform what is today an unremarkable area with limited views into an activity center that remains useful and beautiful even when empty. On most days, the Hub is a primary meeting point for tours and group fitness activities. It is an accessible drop-off point for visitors arriving via car, public transit, or school bus, with carefully laid-out parking nestled within a restored pine forest. It accommodates large groups and vehicular access for setting up special events like festivals and markets without harming the surrounding landscapes.
The Hub is a flexible space that can be enjoyed by a solitary bird-watcher in the early morning, by a bus full of students breaking for lunch during their capital city field trip, or by thousands of visitors during a weekend festival. [End of Master plan description]
Extension of the Urban Core of the Ridge
The Master Plan has significant hard development throughout the Ridge, Valley and Gateway. There is no need for the Hub to be located on the West side of the railroad.
One of the failures of the Master Plan is that it adds excessive hard development in Dix Park which is should be a natural respite from the urban core of the city. There is more than enough opportunity for hard development on the East side of the railroad. The Hub, if it should be in the park at all, should be located on the East side of the railroad.