Asheville deserves a downtown park

Attention conservation notice: this post is about the local campaign to turn an ugly city-owned piece of downtown property into a community park.

The city of Asheville has no downtown green spaces. Pritchard “Park” is not a green space. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a picnic downtown? To grab lunch from Rosetta’s on a warm spring day and spread out a blanket for a meal on the grass, under the blue sky? Play frisbee downtown? Asheville is full of natural beauty, but our downtown isn’t.

We can change that. We need a green space downtown. This is what we could have:

Above is a Photoshopped depiction of “St. Lawrence Park,” the park proposed for a city-owned area that they city of Asheville is currently accepting proposals for. (Note the crazy shadows pointing different ways by the Gatorade river! Cool!) This park would go across from the Basilica of St. Lawrence, where currently there is a a smallish parking area and a blighted and graffiti-marred parking deck owned by the city. A nothing piece of property.

An ugly, empty parking deck could be part of a green and lovely park. It’s a perfect spot, across from a visually impressive historical landmark and near the heart of downtown (the library, the restaurants…). Imagine getting a book from Pack and walking here to read it in the sun on a park bench. What should a city have across the street from its main library — a piss-stinking parking deck, exclusive condos, or a park? In my mind, I am picnicking here already. I am having something from Salsa. What are you having?

There is a growing grassroots community movement supporting the creation of a park in downtown Asheville. You can help support it by “signing” (via email) a full-page ad that will appear in the Citizen-Times. I’ve already signed the ad. I think that a downtown park is an absolutely wonderful idea, and that the proposed Basilica site is absolutely ideal. I think this is one of the best ideas for the Asheville community that I’ve yet heard about.

That space is ripe for development. I figure it’ll be high-dollar high-rise condos, or a park.

I want a park.

Sign the ad (and learn more) here.

Check out the Mountain Xpress article here.

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