A meeting was held Tuesday night at Shiloh Baptist Church to discuss possible future designs for the recently cleared triangle at 1097 North 23rd Street.
Though open to the public and announced through flyers and this website, turn-out for the meeting was light. At the center of the discussion was landscape architect Bill Spell and his preliminary design for the triangle bound by 23rd, Carrington, and Q Streets. Present were representatives of Better Housing Coalition, New Visions Civic League, Unity Civic League, and Shiloh Baptist Church. New Visions Civic League serves the area bound by Fairmount Avenue and Venable, 25th, and Mosby Streets. Unity Civic League serves the area bound by Fairmount and Fairfield Avenues, Mechanicsville Turnpike, and 27th Street.
Spell’s design, offered up as a starting point for further discussion, provides an attractive low-maintenance site that won’t encourage negative use of the space. The design is built around a central space occupied by a hypothetical sculpture, ringed by flowers, 3 larger trees, 10 crepe myrtles, and brick sidewalks1. BHC has been in communication with Art 180 about the possible sculpture2.
The now-empty lot is currently owned by Better Housing Coalition and was bought with funds provided by Capitol One. The lot may be turned over to the city once the green space has been brought to fruition. The youth group at Shiloh is committed to maintaining the property.
The next meeting in the process is tentatively scheduled for mid-December.
1: Discussion of the sidewalks, drawn at 6 feet wide, may have answered the often-asked question of “Why do so many people walk in the street instead of the sidewalk in Church Hill?”. Six feet was presented as wide enough for 2 people to walk comfortable abreast, while most sidewalks in the area are maybe 4 feet wide.