Railroad Park Grand Opening
The Railroad Park is officially open!
The grand opening of Railroad Park took place on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 from 5:30-8pm. The ceremony started with a special ribbon cutting. Government officials including DDD Chairman Frank DiVittorio, Hammond Mayor Pete Panepinto, Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller and Louisiana State Representative Nicholas Muscarello, Jr. each spoke their congratulations to the DDD and excitement for the new park. Executive Director Chelsea Little explained future plans for the park.
Nicholas Muscarello, Jr, made a special announcement highlighting the DDD's recent national achievement. The DDD was selected as a winner of the Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). Hammond was chosen by a national jury competing against over 1,600 cities. Rep. Muscarello presented the DDD with House Resolution 119 congratulating the staff on the GAMSA recognition.
After the ribbon cutting, Will Vance & the Kinfolk took the stage. Visitors spent time in the park searching for their bricks, taking photos with Hammond's newest mural, "A Hammond Daydream," visiting merchant and vendor booths, exploring the Little Free Library and more.
Railroad Park has been a project in the DDD Master Plan since 2002. The project has been in the works for many years with several different design possibilities. The current project began in late 2020 and after nearly 2 years of public input, development and construction, the park opened to the public on June 1, 2022.
Railroad Park is a testament to what can happen when our city leaders work together. The property, once owned by the Cate Family, was donated to the City of Hammond under the conditions that it always remain a public space. Through a cooperative agreement between the City of Hammond and the DDD, the DDD was able spearhead the renovation of the property. The City of Hammond handles all future upkeep and reservations of the park.
What’s next? The Hammond Historic District has partnered with the DDD to complete a history exhibit in the park. The history of the railroad will be displayed on metal panels on the brick columns along the railroad. Benches, purchased by community members, are in production and are set to be installed later this year. The Hammond Rotary centennial clock will also be installed this summer. Tables and chairs for the courtyard are in the works.
How can you get involved? Bricks are still for sale on the DDD website. Benches can still be purchased in the park. You can also sign up to stay in the know about the history panels. All this at DDDHammond.com/buyabrick
Special thank you to Tangipahoa Chamber of Commerce, Hammond Police Department, Sign World, the Social Butterfly, and Tiffany Bel for making the grand opening a success!
Special Thank yous
This park was a collaborative effort of many. Thank you to all who made Railroad Park a success:
· City of Hammond
· Hammond City Council
· Hammond Historic District
· Hammond Police Department
- Dr. Howard Nichols
· Kelly Construction
· Architect, Roy Dufreche
· Tangi Tourism
· Tangipahoa Chamber of Commerce
· Past and present DDD Board Members
· Past and present DDD Design Committee Member
· Past and present DDD staff members and interns
· Bayou Tree Service
· Alfortish Memorials
· Anntoine Marketing + Design
· Hammond Farmers Market
· Downtown business community
· Brick and bench purchasers
· Brit Flood, mural artist
· All those who participated in our many public sessions
· Hammond Regional Arts Center
· Kelly Morse
· Dr. Sid Guidry
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