Difference between revisions of "Downey Park"

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(Created page with "'''Downey Park''' is a 10.31-acre public park located south of Higdon Road between 3rd Avenue South and Dublin Avenue in [[Birmingham]...")
 
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'''Downey Park''' is a 10.31-acre [[List of Birmingham parks|public park]] located south of [[Higdon Road]] between [[3rd Avenue South]] and [[Dublin Avenue]] in [[Birmingham]]'s [[East Lake neighborhood]].
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'''Downey Park''' is a 10.31-acre [[List of Birmingham parks|public park]] located south of [[Higdon Road]] between [[3rd Avenue South]] and [[Dublin Avenue]] in [[Birmingham]]'s [[East Lake neighborhood]]. The present park was dedicated after [[1972]].
  
The park features an outdoor basketball court, playgrounds, walking track, and a picnic pavilion.
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The original Downey Park property was located near [[Forest Hill Cemetery]] and the [[Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport|Birmingham Municipal Airport]], partially in the present right-of-way of {{I-59/20}}. That site was acquired and dedicated in [[1951]] to provide separate recreational facilities for African-American residents in the area, which was also served by the white-only [[Wahouma Park]]. The site was poorly drained, and constructed improvements and lighting were limited because it lay on the axis of the airport's north-south runway.
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After the city's parks were integrated, the city abandoned any intention to further develop the park and no funds were expended on improvements or maintenance. The residential areas served by the park had been redeveloped for commercial uses and were further decimated by expansion of the airport, the relocation of [[Daniel Payne College]], and construction of the interstate highway. It was thus easily argued in a 1972 environmental impact study for further airport expansion that acquiring the Downey Park site would cause little harm, and the city's projected 1990 Land Use Plan called for the park and 89 remaining homes in the area to be turned over to airport expansion. The [[Birmingham Park & Recreation Board]] supported that plan, but asked that funds for acquisition of another park site be granted to the board in compensation.
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The present Downey Park features an outdoor basketball court, playgrounds, walking track, and a picnic pavilion. A metal plaque was installed by the [[East Lake neighborhood|East Lake Neighborhood Association]] in January [[2013]] to honor "unsung heroes" including two former neighborhood officers, [[Shirley Johnson-Holston]] and [[Brad Billingsley]].
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==References==
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* Wagner, Frank A. (October 12, 1972) Letter to Samuel Hill, Jr, attached to "Supplement No. 2 to Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Birmingham Municipal Airport" (November 9, 1972)
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* Wright, James A. (November 7, 1972) Letter to Samuel Hill, Jr, attached to
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* Chambers, Jesse (January 29, 2013) "East Lake ceremony honors neighborhood officers, "unsung heroes"." {{BN}}
  
{{stub}}
 
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
{{Locate | lat=33.546908 | lon=-86.734087 | type=h | zoom=17 }}
 
{{Locate | lat=33.546908 | lon=-86.734087 | type=h | zoom=17 }}
  
 
[[Category:Birmingham parks]]
 
[[Category:Birmingham parks]]
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[[Category:1951 establishments]]
 
[[Category:3rd Avenue South]]
 
[[Category:3rd Avenue South]]
 
[[Category:Higdon Road]]
 
[[Category:Higdon Road]]
 
[[Category:Dublin Avenue]]
 
[[Category:Dublin Avenue]]

Revision as of 12:38, 13 September 2016

Downey Park is a 10.31-acre public park located south of Higdon Road between 3rd Avenue South and Dublin Avenue in Birmingham's East Lake neighborhood. The present park was dedicated after 1972.

The original Downey Park property was located near Forest Hill Cemetery and the Birmingham Municipal Airport, partially in the present right-of-way of I-59/20. That site was acquired and dedicated in 1951 to provide separate recreational facilities for African-American residents in the area, which was also served by the white-only Wahouma Park. The site was poorly drained, and constructed improvements and lighting were limited because it lay on the axis of the airport's north-south runway.

After the city's parks were integrated, the city abandoned any intention to further develop the park and no funds were expended on improvements or maintenance. The residential areas served by the park had been redeveloped for commercial uses and were further decimated by expansion of the airport, the relocation of Daniel Payne College, and construction of the interstate highway. It was thus easily argued in a 1972 environmental impact study for further airport expansion that acquiring the Downey Park site would cause little harm, and the city's projected 1990 Land Use Plan called for the park and 89 remaining homes in the area to be turned over to airport expansion. The Birmingham Park & Recreation Board supported that plan, but asked that funds for acquisition of another park site be granted to the board in compensation.

The present Downey Park features an outdoor basketball court, playgrounds, walking track, and a picnic pavilion. A metal plaque was installed by the East Lake Neighborhood Association in January 2013 to honor "unsung heroes" including two former neighborhood officers, Shirley Johnson-Holston and Brad Billingsley.

References

  • Wagner, Frank A. (October 12, 1972) Letter to Samuel Hill, Jr, attached to "Supplement No. 2 to Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Birmingham Municipal Airport" (November 9, 1972)
  • Wright, James A. (November 7, 1972) Letter to Samuel Hill, Jr, attached to
  • Chambers, Jesse (January 29, 2013) "East Lake ceremony honors neighborhood officers, "unsung heroes"." The Birmingham News

External links

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