Four years after its ceremonial groundbreaking, the Westside’s answer to Historic Fourth Ward Park is gearing up for an official opening next month, city officials tell Urbanize Atlanta.
Construction of 16-acre Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Vine City has been completed, but fencing around the perimeter has yet to come down. Trust for Public Land officials told Urbanize Atlanta last month they were working to open the park as soon as possible but had yet to receive a certificate of occupancy from the city.
According to City of Atlanta press secretary Michael Smith, the city’s parks department is planning a June opening, though a specific date has yet to be decided.
Alongside an array of amenities—a rock-climbing structure, splashpad, restroom building topped with a skyline overlook, dynamic playgrounds, wide sidewalks built to accommodate farmers markets and festivals, multi-use sports courts, a great lawn, and a terraced bank of seating for picnicking with views of the city—the park’s 10-million-gallon retention pond is designed to solve flooding issues that have plagued Vine City for decades.
The most impressive feature, however, could be a 650-foot steel bridge that swoops over the water.
Cook Park was originally expected to open in spring 2018. Parks officials over the years have blamed delays on surprises with unsuitable soils, issues with underground utilities, exceptionally rainy seasons, and more recently the pandemic. It’s located two blocks west of the Georgia World Congress Center, connected by new protected bike lanes to the Westside BeltLine Connector trail and the rest of downtown.
The park’s name pays homage to Rodney Cook Sr., the late city leader and Georgia state representative known for championing civil rights. The $35-million investment was funded by the city’s departments of Watershed Management and Parks and Recreation, and the Trust for Public Land.
In April, the National Monuments Foundation and city officials installed a statue of late Congressman John Lewis, created by sculptor Gregory Johnson, in the heart of the new park.
Head to the gallery for a look at the finished—but still closed, so refrain from trespassing, like we did—park today.
• Vine City flipper: $239K cottage, like other properties, sold before it listed (Urbanize Atlanta)