Saturday, March 5, 2011

Friends of Carroll Park Meeting 3/1/2011

My first real post!  I'm just going to dive in here.

I attended a Friends of Carroll Park meeting the other day.  It was at the request of my buddy Adam, who was representing the city's Rec & Parks department for a community presentation.  
"Don't ask a bunch of questions" he warned me, jokingly.
"Don't give me any ideas!"
I'd been in his shoes before.  It's not easy to work on something only to have an audience feed off of your nervousness and tear your presentation apart, second guessing every idea.  Not that that happened.  Adam did a wonderful job.  But I was glad to be there to harass him.  And extra motivation was appreciated.  I need to get off my butt and go to more community meetings.

I walked up to the church at 1307 Washington Blvd and was greeted at the door.  The kind gentleman showed me where the meeting was taking place in a back partitioned room.  It was a small group.  Four of those in the room were there to give a presentation.  Two were with Mount Claire's historical society, one from the Gwynns Falls Trails group.  The last five, myself included, were there specifically for the Friends of Carroll Park (we'll call it FoCP for short) group.  Though the three ladies from the other groups seemed just as invested in FoCP.

Gloria reported some internal announcements.
She applied for grant money to replace the fitness signage in the park, a mural in the skate park that reads "Carroll Park", and a concert in the park.  A suggestion came up about establishing a standard grant template, so that grants can be filled out more easily.  Often grants go unsubmitted due to time and effort requirements.  
There is a fundraiser by The Power House Church this monday at the Landsdowne Chick-fil-A.  Money will go to help send an area child to summer camp!  See the calendar for details. 

Amanda Malone from Rebuilding Together Baltimore presented first.  
They are planning for Rebuilding Day 2011, which falls on April 30th.
They will be work on 10-15 homes in the Pigtown area, and 10-15 homes in St Helena in the county.  They are looking for people in the community to plan or lead projects.
      Possible projects include:
  • Dog Stations
  • Clean Up w Educational Piece
  • Stencil Drain Inlets - Warning not to dump
  • A Small Mural on the concrete wall at the Tot Lot
  • 1172 Carroll Street - New Mural
  • Repaint Skate Park Bowl - want to use the kids who play there to paint and pick up trash to establish a sense of ownership.
  • Replace the Welcome to Pigtown Sign in front of the mural in the 700 block of Wash Blvd... (where did it go?)
  • Clean up at intersection of Archer & Wash Blvd so you can see the mural
Please contact Amanda if you are interested in volunteering your time!  Donations are also welcome on their website.

Baltimore City Recreation & Parks went next.
Adam Boarman presented the new lighting plan for the park:
Carroll Park Plan; By Baltimore City Recreations & Parks Dept
Washington Blvd is at the bottom of the plan, and train tracks at the top.  The light spread of the fixtures is shown in a transparent yellow.  The lighting plan shows the new proposed multi-purpose soccer field, and field house.  The multi-purpose field will replace the under-utilized rear ball fields.  Images from the Architect are below.  The stairs in the image below lead down south to the 4 existing ball fields.  A survey of surrounding homes concluded that residents were comfortable having the lights on no later than 11pm, though 10pm will likely be the realistic cut off.

Front View of Field House; By Hord Coplan Macht
The field house will be mostly  open, with covered seating & picnic area.  Main locked storage will be on one side (the brick structure), and rest rooms and concessions.

Is here a good spot for a personal story?  Sure.  Why not.  At around the age of 5 maybe, I went to my brother's baseball game, which only had porta-potties.  Like a well taught child, I wanted to wash my hands afterward.  I complained to my mom when I got out that the sink had soap, which I put all over my hands, but I couldn't find the faucet.  Turned out that sink was a urinal... and the soap was a urinal cake.  Had we had such a nice field house as this one, maybe this wouldn't have happened.  The concession stand people were nice enough to let my panicked mother scrub my hands profusely in their sink.  Dear parents... make your child wise to the world of the other sex's bathroom habits, the embarrassment you save may be your own... or something.

Back to topic! 

Back Side of Field House; By Hord Coplan Macht

That large gray area that looks like parking lot...  probably just unplanned in the image.  Don't worry about that.  The architect is only focusing on the building, not the site in this image.  See the overall lighting plan for the Landscape Architect's view of the site around the field house. 

Some issues that came up in the meeting were concerns over the field house materials, but the Architect was not present, so it could not be addressed.  A burglar alarm is not planned.  All entry doors will be locked, and bathrooms will be closed at night.
Carroll Park Main Entrance Plan & Elevation; By Baltimore City Recreations & Parks Dept

This plan proposes narrowing down the entry drive to 22' (two 11' lanes, which is an average lane width), and a small pull-off to to the right.   This gives the driver a chance to see a park directory, find their way safely, and remain out of the flow of traffic until finding their destination.  This is a great asset to first-time or infrequent visitors.   Eventually more signage will be included throughout the park, similar to the standard signage being applied in Druid Hill Park. A comment arose about providing a sidewalk connection to the sign.  It is a very good point.  
The elevation shown below the plan view, lines up with a view from Washington Blvd into the park.  The new entry feature is designed to fit the historic character of the mansion, and make the road more obvious to passing visitors.  The design is two square brick monuments, connected by an undulating metal picket fence.  

Finally, Ivan Leshinsky presented a plan for the Sowebo 5k.  
This will be the inaugural event, beginning in Hollins Market, traveling into Pigtown, through Carroll Park, and ending at a Health Fair in Union Square Park.  Check out the website for more details, as well as donor and volunteer opportunities.  The event will October 2, 2011 starting at 9am.  The idea is to raise awareness about childhood obesity and get visitors to hit up our local landmarks.

Want to come out for next meeting?  Hit up the calendar and copy it to your own!  First Tuesday of every month at 1307 Washington Blvd.  

1 comment:

  1. I think we should find that street artist named Gaia and have him do any murals for Pigtown. He has done some undercover work all over the city, including one in Pigtown near the Esquire II barbershop.