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Piedmont Park Conservancy Eyes Future Upgrades

Gardens, a playground and a small orchard could be part of a long-term master plan.

The  met on Monday to review its progress on upgrades to the park and to talk about next steps including Piedmont Gardens, an area adjacent to Monroe Drive, which could include gardens, a playground and a picnic area.

The Conservancy is finishing up at the park, which has been focused on upgrading infrastructure and adding new entrances. Phase One has cost about $41 million.

Phase Two is beginning now and involves adding amenities such as additional benches, water fountains and grills that would increase the park’s appeal to Atlantans and tourists who may rent facilities there. Design plans also include a small orchard and an outdoor classroom. 

"When we're done, there will be more Piedmont Park to love and embrace," said Yvette Bowden, the Conservancy’s President and CEO.

The meeting also focused on the use of Greystone, a building next to the that is often rented out for weddings and corporate meetings. Nearby residents said that the building, one of the most beautiful in the park, was underused and would benefit from being open to the public more often. 

Bowden and Chris Nelson, the Conservancy’s executive vice president, said it would be too expensive to keep Greystone open to the public all the time. They said its current use as an event space makes money for the Park and helps highlight Piedmont Park as "world class amenity” at a time when city funds are tight.

What upgrades would you like to see at Piedmont Park? Tell us in the comments area below.

Patch June 20, 2012 at 02:06 PM
completing the beltline trail to ansley mall and also opening up the trail to monroe behind clear creek mall would be great.
Tammy June 20, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Did they run out of money on that final part of the expansion? I find it odd that they would install bridges in that area and just let them sit there unused going on 2 years now.
Parkside June 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I think you're talking about the Piedmont Commons area. This was from a Midtown Patch article back in December of 2010. I'd love to get an update too. From Midtown Patch, December 2010: The 12 acres of land in "Piedmont Commons" has been some of the toughest terrain to renovate, Nelson said. For near a century, the area was a lumberyard where the city of Atlanta dumped "thousands and thousands of tons of green waste," Nelson said. Crews at the site discovered undocumented stormwater and sewer lines, Nelson said. Construction came to a halt as workers figured out how to maneuver around the lines.  "It was a big mess," Nelson said. "There were things dumped on the surface like concrete pipes, old lumber, old playground equipment." When work crews bored a sample from the ground, Nelson said, it looked like a layer cake of "real squishy soil" that consisted of organic matter that hadn't yet decomposed. The basketball courts were going to be built in that area, but due to the condition of the soil, plans were revised. The basketball courts now are going in near the tennis center.
Steve Gower June 20, 2012 at 08:47 PM
That whole Ansley area has been nothing but an environmental disaster as a result of a landfill from a century ago. Ansley Mall had serious problems with the ground sinking, especially in the part where the Pet Supply store is now located. That portion of the mall had to be rebuilt. Many, many years ago an IHOP in what is now the Burkhart's parking lot had to be torn down because it was literally falling into that creek - eggs and hamburgers would actually slide off the grill and onto the floor if the cook was not paying attention... The building was condemned as unsalvageable, and was torn down in the early or mid 1970s.
Xavier Bellows June 20, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I think adding rowboats on lake Clara Meer would add a lot of character to the park and to the city as a whole. Charge a fee to rent and have renters sign a no liability waiver. It's a huge hit in other parks such as the Retiro in Madrid, Spain. (ticket prices and concession stand revenue could cover the costs)
Hunt Archbold (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Hello all, I'm back from a few days of vacation and will look into the questions concerning the Piedmont Commons area.
Renee June 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
hand soap in the bathrooms!!
Hunt Archbold (Editor) June 27, 2012 at 07:55 PM
This week, Piedmont Park Conservancy Executive Vice President Chris Nelson brought Patch up to speed with regards to Piedmont Commons, the park's northernmost expansion site. The PPC is currently raising money to finish Phase One of its plans for Piedmont Commons. Last December, the Kendeda Fund began supporting the effort with a challenge grant that will match gifts to the PPC on a $1 for $1 basis up to $1M. They hope to raise the money needed to complete Phase One by the end of the year.

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