Uptown’s Romare Bearden Park: needed, planned, and ready to start
Posted on 15 Apr 2011 by Matt McGlothlin
It’s no secret that Uptown Charlotte lacks green space, specifically a park where people can lunch, exercise, or relax. Romare Bearden Park has been planned for over 10 years and due to delays construction hasn’t started. The park will be a full city block located at the corner of S. Church and 3rd St. right in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. It will be a signature park for Uptown Charlotte.
The current site is a parking lot intersected by Poplar St. (parking lots are a familiar scene for Third Ward residents). The Packard Building, adjacent to the site, is currently vacant but not for long. Dan and Sarah Roselli have plans to transform this building into a central hub for entrepreneurs and investors. Possibilities for the space include meeting rooms, event facilities, co-working space, lounges and more. Check out more information about the new Packard Place on their Facebook page (I highly recommend watching the video, Dan’s vision is truly inspiring).
The site plan for the park includes areas that reference the work of Romare Bearden, a world reknowned artist born in Charlotte. Much of Romare Bearden’s work focuses on his own memories and how those memories evolved over time. Bearden’s time in Paris influenced his work. An area of the park is aptly named “Paris Memory”.
“The Evocative Spine” is the main thoroughfare for the park.
“Madeline’s Garden” will be primarily a cool season garden that will also allow for year-round annual beds.
Other features of the park include Big Moon Green — a large open lawn area, The Formal Oval — an area suffice for small events, Childhood Muse Plaza — a place for children of all ages with interactive water features and public art, and The Baseball Plaza — directly across from the proposed baseball stadium at the corner of Mint St. and Martin Luther King Blvd.
Romare Bearden is recognized as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the 20th century. His work is currently on display in New York City’s Michael Rosenfield Gallery to celebrate the centennial of Bearden’s birth. Read a recent article from the NY Times. There is a good biographical post of Bearden’s life on the Romare Bearden Foundation website.
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation recently asked the Board of County Commissioners for approval to start work on Romare Bearden Park this spring. According to the initial agreement, if demolition and grading is not completed by October of this year then the original seller has the right to repurchase the land. The time to start demoliton and construction is now. Partners for Parks and Park and Rec are committed to raising money from the private sector to get more shovels in the ground. The park has been delayed for 10 years and that’s too long for our city. Charlotte needs a signature park Uptown and the community support is there to make it happen now. Our voices just need to be heard. Please support Romare Bearden Park and ask the BOCC to approve PayGo funds to start work. Visit and “Like” the Build Romare Bearden Park Facebook page and follow @rbeardenpark on Twitter to show your support.
The BOCC meets on Tuesday April 19th to discuss the park and again on Tuesday May 3rd. The vote should happen at one of these meetings. Please attend and show your support for a park in Uptown. BOCC meetings take place on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 pm in the Meeting Chamber of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center located at 600 East Fourth Street.