The design for Dix Park by MVVA is admirable in many ways, but I believe that it misses some very important aspects as we move further into the 21st Century. The park would serve Raleigh and all of North Carolina better if it became a model for sustainable living. As a global culture, we have major challenges facing us. The global population is roughly 7.7 billion people and the estimates for the carrying capacity of the Earth is 10 billion people, with this number based primarily on the amount of arable land available for growing the needed food. One aspect of a park for the future is that it would have as a foundation a pallet of food producing plants. Yet the MVVA design is promoting the old saw of ‘a collection of native plants from all across the state,’ or where they are more specific, a botanical garden for shade loving plants. We have two excellent public gardens, the UNC Botanic Garden which promotes native plants from across the state, and the JC Raulston Arboretum, which features ornamental plants that are suited for our area, including shade loving plants. What we need is a garden thatRead More
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 andRead More
How much should it cost to maintain Dorothea Dix Park? Let’s look at Raleigh Park System for guidance: Raleigh Parks total 10,000 acres 200 Parks $50 Million to operate and maintain the buildings and land. Approximately $5000 per acre Dix Park 308 acres Should be about $1,6 Million to maintain just a few buildings and the land. Dix park represents 3% of the area of the Raleigh park system Dix doesn’t need as many buildings as the plan calls for. They are both expensive to restore and maintain. Here is a breakdown of the plans from the Master Plan. Total existing buildings85 buildingsTotal existing floor area1,171,818 sq ft26.9 acresTotal existing footprint679,790 sq ft15.6 acresBuildings to be removed5364% of buildingsFloor area to be removed478,328 sq ft41% of existing floor area10.98 acresFootprint to be removed331,521 sq ft49% of existing footprint7.61 acresBuildings preserved3237% of existing buildingsFloor area preserved693,490 sq ft59% of existing floor area15.92 acresFootprint preserved348,269 sq ft51% of existing footprint7.99 acresBuildings and surrounding lawns preserved1,602,178 sq ft12% of 308 acres36.78 acres
The following illustration show the Private Development plans put forth in the Dec. 2018 Draft Master Plan. These recommendations were changed to “Future Study” in the January update. Thus, while these development plans aren’t enumerated in the final plan they are “being studied” and we must continue to watch for and oppose these private development plans. It is particularly important to prevent private development along the approximately 800 ft deep strip of property along Lake Wheeler Road, because this is the Gateway to Raleigh’s Downtown. The words have changed from the Dec. Draft Master Plan, but the desire to develop has not. Note that the phases have been renamed to numbers and the 4’6 acre parcel shown in Phase C is now slated as a Temporary Parking in Phase Now This next illustration shows all the areas planned for development. This includes parking, buildings and areas being studied for Private Development.
This post contains pictures of the Ridge plan with the buildings annotated with sq foot footprints as well as total estimated sq ft. In addition it shows the original AJ Davis building and what is left of the original building and its sq ft. It also asks you to consider the integrity of the 100,000 sq ft AJ Davis building and if the additional 100,000 sq ft McBride wings should be kept. Do we really need 200,000 sq ft in this building.
These images are from the Master Plan Image of the Meadow / Grate Field currently Here is the plan Image of the Planned Meadow / Grate Field Here is a picture map of the Meadow / Field with annotations Picture map from the Master Plan | Red Annotation by JHuberman
This includes the valley with the Power Plant as well as the Ridge. Photo from the Master Plan | Annotation by JHuberman Where the new Trestle ends in the Great Field the land will need to built up 30 feet.
The grove is the area that needs the least amount of work. A tree plan to plant young trees to grow before the old ones die. Many of the 6″ to 10″ inch trees were planted by a Boylan Heights initiative in 2002, and a Enloe High School project in 2003. Photo from Master Plan | Annotation by JHuberman Here is the Picture Map from the Master Plan. Here is the whole expanded grove from the Master Plan: The Grove p. 204 Master Plan
The creek used to loop out into where the soccer fields are. It was used as a landfill and Rocky Branch was channelized. Restoring the creek will require dealing with the old landfill so you can imagine how many permits and studies that will take. However there is also the possibility that there could be both Federal and State funds to clean it up. Picture from Master Plan | Annotations by JHuberman Here is the Master Plan picture map Picture map from the Master Plan