Property Location: 719 East Franklin Street
Property Owner: City of Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities
Park Boundaries: The site is bordered by Belvidere Street on the east, Main Street on the south, Laurel Street on the west and Franklin Street on the north.
Total Acreage: 7.36 (within perimeter sidewalk)
Site Description: The park can generally be described as a modest slope of grass plats and curb-lined paths with a variety of canopy, evergreen and small ornamental trees. Of interest in the park are a central fountain, public restroom, event and office pavilion and historic markers and monuments.
Zoning and Land Use: The public urban park is in a R-73 (high-density residential) zoning district and is surrounded by residential, religious, and institutional buildings.
To update the Park’s aging infrastructure and make it both accessible and attractive to all people and groups who would like to use the City’s first and most historic Park.
How will the park be made better?
- It was designed to be a safe, accessible, inviting, and engaging green space, and the Conservancy is working to ensure that it will be again.
- MP will be a place that is welcoming to anyone—from lawn athletes to picnickers to patrons of the arts. The space will also include WIFI and improved lighting for comfort and convenience.
- MP will be fully sustainable, with a goal of zero water runoff, efficient LED lighting, and native plants that enhance the park as breathing space. The Conservancy’s plans have been honored for their commitment to sustainability.
When will the renovation start?
Early November 2016. Fundraising will continue into 2017 to complete the Park.
How long will the park be closed for construction?
To bring MP into the modern era, the park must be closed briefly as sewer, gas, water, and electrical lines are improved. Like laying the foundation of a house, this must be complete first before work is done on the grounds. The park will be a closed construction zone during this brief period but will emerge as a civic jewel. Construction will take 12 – 18 months.
When the park re-opens will it still be a public park?
Though the Conservancy will steward the park in a partnership agreement with the city, MP will remain a public park with access for all. This is a very common practice nationally, including Central Park in New York and Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.