After posting on a possible future park at the corner of Niagara and Lafayette last week I decided to take spend some time visiting a park near Dunn Tire Park yesterday. The land is bounded by North Division and South Division and was most likely, at one time or another, a very nice place to visit. I have a feeling that the neighbors that surround the block are just one of the reasons that this park was allowed to decay, and as far as I know there are no plans to spruce it up unless ECC somehow shines a light on it. By neighbors I mean a bus terminal that already ate up part of the park for parking its buses, and the sprawling parking lot between East Eagle and N. Division, and a massive parking garage to the north.
Not only are there a lack of people-populating structures nearby, N & S Division are like freeways with four auto lanes to get cars as quickly as possible to The Skyway and the Thruway. Unfortunately that plan left the district less-than-desirable for residential and commercial purposes. I guess if the old Post Office And Federal Building had not been such a magnificent building (and had the word federal attached to it), it too would have faced the same demise as the surrounding blocks.
The park is left with a non-functioning cubist water fountain, a bunch of broken park benches, and a paisley-looking bus parking lot. Not the nicest of areas, unless your looking for a quiet place to take a nap after a long night. It is unfortunate that this park was subjected to the progress of the automobile – buses and cars certainly rule the roost in this section of downtown. Now that ECC is expanding downtown, and the Seneca Paper Building is being renovated, and Globe Market, Chop-Chop, The Webb, Pearl Street Brew Pub, the Maritime Museum, Soundlab, Dunn Tire Park… in other words, businesses and people are starting to re-populating the area. Maybe it’s time to clean up and repair this existing park.
(The continued photo shows the extension of the park to the west, intersected by Washington Street. That section of the park is better off due to its proximity to Main Street, the Ellicott Square Building, etc.) Below is the overview of its length – notice the bus parking lot towards the bottom.