Papa's becomes pocket park
It's been over a year since the UVA Foundation's promise of a pocket garden hit the press – yet driving down West Main Street, one sees merely the spread of University-related construction as the garden is getting under way (pictured at left). Because of renovation required to turn the Patton Mansion into the new branch of the UVA Community Credit Union, the pocket garden is only now taking shape.
"The project should be completed by mid-July," UVA Foundation CEO Tim Rose says. "We're about 25 percent completed– we needed to complete the renovation of the building before we could start the garden."
The pocket garden, a hip concept in big cities, will help enhance the look of both the Patton Mansion and an area of West Main populated by buildings and parking lots, says Rose. While Patton Mansion's version will pale compared to more renowned pocket parks like midtown Manhattan's Paley Park– with its waterfall and ivy-covered walls– the local version will include a central lawn, landscaped areas and park benches. The project is expected to cost $225,000 and is based on a design by local architect David Anhold (design at right).
"It's a traditional design in many ways," Anhold says. "The University desired to have a side yard for the Patton Mansion, to support the historic architecture."
Located in the space formerly occupied by a Papa John's, the pocket garden was acquired with the University's purchase of space for the Core Laboratories and will be maintained by UVA, according to Rose. The entire area has been under survey by the city for pedestrian and aesthetic enhancement, says Anhold.
"[The garden] was required as part of the University and city's agreement when the city let the University do the Core Lab," Anhold says. "They required the University to take down the old Papa John's. It fits in with the renovation of the historic mansion and fits in with the character of West Main Street."