New park set to come close to Tech

Photo by Brenda Lin

In February 2013, a new “Pocket Park” on the northeast corner of Peachtree and 10th street in Midtown is anticipated to open. The park will include an open green space for outdoor games and gatherings, a seating area, a small platform stage for performances and a sustainable garden.

The Pocket Park will be especially beneficial to Georgia Tech students. It will be located one half mile closer to campus than Piedmont Park, currently the nearest park. The Georgia Tech Counseling Center, in particular, is enthusiastic about the prospects of a nearby park.

It’s great to learn that there will be one more stress relieving resource close to campus…

“Three of the major ways to manage stress include exercise, relaxation and spending time with supportive friends in a beautiful setting. All three of those things will be easier to do if there is a park nearby,” said Dr. Mack Bowers from the Georgia Tech Counseling Center.

“It’s great to learn that there will be one more stress relieving resource close to campus,” Bowers said. “The Pocket Park will be a great new addition to the community.”

The Pocket Park is meant to be a temporary amenity until a large-scale redevelopment of the corner is available.

“One advantage that temporary parks offer is flexibility. They allow for experimentation with different types of uses such as gaming, community gardens and temporary art installations,” said Ginny Kennedy, a representative of Midtown Alliance, which is one of the organizations aiding in the park’s construction.

The area is called a “Pocket Park” because of its small size and urban setting. The park will be about a quarter of an acre large and will be surrounded, or “pocketed” by commercial buildings.

“Rather than letting the corner sit idle and unimproved, Midtown Alliance seeks to convert it into a functional open space ,” Kennedy said.

The Pocket Park is being built by Midtown Alliance in cooperation with Dewberry Capital Corporation. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is also partnering to help select and maintain the plants and green space.

Midtown Alliance is a non-profit organization that looks for opportunities to “enhance livability” by improving streets, plazas, parks and buildings. They have invested over $21 million dollars into the Midtown community. The organization began construction on the Pocket Park to fill in gaps along Peachtree Street.

“All of this contributes to Midtown’s beauty, vitality and livability. [The Pocket Park will] activate and preserve this prominent corner,” Kennedy said.

The Pocket Park will also include a garden filled with low maintenance plants meant to attract butterflies. Both the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Midtown Alliance hope that park visitors will be able to learn more about small-scale gardening and native Georgian plants.

According to The Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Pocket Park should be a place to come and enjoy life every day of the year.
A small platform is also planned to serve as a stage for music performances. The addition of a signature piece of public art and outdoor dining at the north end of the park is also planned.

[The Pocket Park is] “envisioned as a community gathering place. [The Pocket Park will] benefit everyone who visits, lives and works in Midtown.”