West Main 'pocket park' opens next week
Nestled between hotels, banks, and a busy downtown street, Charlottesville's latest island of green space in a sea of asphalt and concrete will open to the public next week. The so-called "pocket park" adjacent to Patton Mansion's UVA Community Credit Union on West Main Street is at the end of its construction process, just in time for its original mid-July deadline, according to UVA Foundation CEO Tim Rose.
"Possibly next week all will be complete, including the mansion," Rose said in an e-mail. The mansion underwent a face lift to remove the defunct Papa John's annex and return the building to its historic facade. With the completion of a few final touch-ups, such as trimming the trees and replacing some concrete, the park will be ready for use.
As an addendum to UVA's acquisition of space for the Core Laboratory, the pocket park was designed to aesthetically enhance the growing concrete jungle of West Main Street. Sticking to an original budget of $225,000, according to Rose, the park includes landscaped shrubbery, trees, light poles, and benches.
"I think we made the original design better," says architect David Anhold. "The original design didn't have plant material in the courtyard in the 'canyon' behind the retaining wall. We added plants for the folks in the Core Lab to have in their break area."