Downtown Hammond Urban Park Projectin Projects
OverviewThe public green space located at #2 W. Thomas St. has been a desired project of the Downtown Development District since 1998. This space has been labeled as Downtown’s city center throughout multiple DDD Master Plan updates. John Desmond, renown mid century modern architect, also designed the building on the property. His original sketches illustrate the space as a public park. In 2021, the DDD plans to bring new life to this space in an effort to highlight its history while renovating the hardscape.
Let's Begin: Public Input Opportunities
Questions You May Have
What happened to the idea of constructing a pavilion at this location?
Several months ago, the DDD formed a Pavilion Committee, dedicated solely to this idea. After careful consideration and discussion, the committee and newly elected board have decided to go in a different direction with this location. Many legal and zoning obstacles presented themselves, and the board felt it was best to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate all possibilities for this downtown area.
Will the DDD still build a pavilion?
We sure hope so! That's still a goal of ours -- but it won't be at this location. The DDD is currently scouting out locations in hopes of bringing a pavilion to Downtown. However, the Urban Park is still our primary focus.
Who decided on this project?
Updating this area has been part of all the DDD recent Master Plans, including the latest 2019 edition. Our board and committee members have discussed this project about for quite some time. As mentioned before, the board appointed a "Pavilion Location Committee" to scout out the best options for a new community space in our district. After a few meetings, the committee voted and recommended to the Board of Directors that, first and foremost, the bond-issued money should be spent renovating this location. This was also recommended by our Design Committee.
Who is paying for this?
In 2018, the DDD took out a bond for $300,000 to renovate this location. It's first goal was to construct a pavilion. After much research and discussion, it's been decided that a pavilion is not the best use of this particular property. However - the DDD and its constituents believe that this space should be renovated, preserved, and used by our whole community; as it is the true center of Downtown Hammond.
75% of the bond funding must be spent by October 2021.
What will it look like?
That's up to our community! We have a general idea that landscaping and sidewalks will be renovated -- but the rest is up to the public. We urge our community to attend our public input sessions and make your voice heard.
How will it affect parking?
At this stage, it will not affect parking. We do have an initial goal to change the diagonal parking on SW Railroad Ave, ultimately making this area safer for pedestrians. If parking is affected when construction begins, notices will be sent out to citizens.
What about the live oak trees and the monument on this property?
There are NO plans to remove or alter our beloved live oaks. The trees, as well as the monument, will stay onsite and be carefully preserved.
How can I get involved?
Come to the public meetings and give your input. You can also stay up-to-date on this website. All new information, minutes, sketches, ideas, and more will be added on a monthly basis.