Albany city officials have scheduled a public meeting on the Lincoln Park Master Plan design project.
Lincoln Park was established as Albany's first public playground in 1900. Its centerpiece swimming pool opened July 4th, 1931. Some feel the park has seen better days, but revitalization efforts in surrounding neighborhoods have renewed interest in Lincoln Park. Chris Spencer is Albany's Department of Planning and Development Commissioner: "Lincoln Park is one of the city's great assets in terms of parks and open space, both in terms of formal activity as well as informal activity that happens there with the pool, many of the other play areas, and it's got a lotta historic significance as well. So we've engaged Stimson, they're a firm out of the Boston-Cambridge area, and they're putting together a master plan for the park. They're looking to get community input on this, to really talk about how people use the park, what they think might be missing, what they'd like to see more of, and just really get a real good understanding of what people's desires are for the park."
Spencer invites residents, visitors, and community organizations to the first of three sessions to learn about the original design intent of Lincoln Park, take part in shaping its future, and help to prioritize projects and initiatives within the Park.
Former Common Councilor amd South End activist and resident Dom Calsolaro welcomes the meeting, saying the timing couldn't be better. "There's a big project going on right now on what was formerly the Long Oil Heat building and that's gonna be, like I believe over 100 units, close to 100 units, that's gonna bring a lot more people in, and that's right alongside the Park, that's why they call it Park Avenue, it runs right alongside Lincoln Park. That's probably another reason why the city's going to be holding these meetings with the public. The population is gonna increase right around the park and they wanna get what people wanna see the reasons for this park to be."
Spencer is confident a variety of viewpoints will be an invaluable tool to reimagining the park. "We think it's one of those parks that, you know, just is sort of underappreciated. It's got probably some of the most amazing views of the city skyline. It's got an amazing view into the park and the housing sits around it, so we just wanna make sure that we're doing everything we can to make those enhancements and help that park realize its total vision."
The meeting is set for Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hackett Middle School.