Historic Oakland Foundation and the Park Pride Visioning Process for the Memorial Drive Greenway

by Neale Nickels, Director of Preservation

An illustration of the Capitol Gateway. (Courtesy Friends of Capitol Gateway Park)

An illustration of the Capitol Greenway. (Courtesy Friends of Capitol Gateway Park)

Long before I joined Historic Oakland Foundation, stakeholders within the community, City of Atlanta, and the state began discussing the future of the property book-ended by Oakland Cemetery to the east and the Gold Dome to the west, and by Memorial Drive and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to the south and north. The concept of a linear park emerged, and over the years, ideas were submitted and eventually land purchased to begin to preserve the space for a future park.

HOF has always been active in the development and preservation of not just what happens inside our walls, but also what happens beyond them. We see ourselves as a catalyst for much of the development along Memorial Drive – after all, if the cemetery was the same eyesore it was prior to 1976, the neighborhood would be far less attractive to developers and residents.

The Memorial Drive Greenway steering committee, helmed by Park Pride. (Courtesy Park Pride)

The Memorial Drive Greenway steering committee, helmed by Park Pride. (Courtesy Park Pride)

As an organization with a mission to preserve Atlanta’s history, HOF has always been willing to weigh in on the changes and developments that surround Oakland Cemetery, and appreciate that our opinion matters. To that end, I am among several HOF representatives asked to be on the volunteer team led by Park Pride to help conduct the visioning process for the Memorial Drive Greenway project. In doing so, we represent Oakland’s interests insofar as the Greenway would affect it, but also we represent the members of the community who enjoy Oakland Cemetery and the area surrounding it for recreational, educational, or cultural purposes.

We care about what happens to our neighborhood and believe the key for the Memorial Drive Greenway’s success — and the continued stewardship and preservation of Historic Oakland Cemetery — lies in thoughtful consideration and active community engagement.

That’s why we are asking that you take a moment to complete this survey for the Park Pride Memorial Drive Greenway visioning process, and tell us what you want to see in a new and innovative park that connects Oakland Cemetery to the Georgia State Capitol.

Learn more about the Park Visioning process at http://bit.ly/parkvisioning and track our progress and learn about the opportunities for your voice to be heard by joining the Friends of Capitol Gateway Park Facebook page.