Background – The
Land – Community Planning
Traffic Study –
Subcommittee Reports –
The Plan – Safety & Access
Did you know that Piedmont Park has never been finished?
Of its 185 total acres only about 130 are open and accessible
to the public today. Approximately 30 acres are occupied
by the Atlanta Botanical Garden (parcel in blue on the map)
and another 25 or so remain undeveloped and largely inaccessible
(parcel in pink on the map). Additionally, nearly 25 acres
of adjacent land (parcels in green on the map), referred
to as the West Property and Halpern Property, were committed
by the City of Atlanta in the mid-1990’s to become
All in all, there are about 50 acres available for reclamation
as park land, an unprecedented opportunity for Atlanta!
In recent years, Piedmont
Park Conservancy has been hard at work raising more
than $22 million to restore
the used areas of the park, including Oak Hill, the Meadow,
Lake Clara Meer and the Active Oval. These multi-million
dollar restoration projects, along with the Conservancy’s
daily maintenance care, have made Piedmont Park cleaner,
greener and more beautiful than ever before. In fall 2003,
with much of the existing park restored, the Conservancy
turned its attention to the opportunity to reclaim park
land and increase the size of Piedmont Park by more than
Because these 50 acres were never developed or maintained
as park land by the City, the area is largely an environmental
disaster—plagued by overgrowth, contamination, debris
and inappropriate behaviors that pose safety risks.
Despite the current degradation, one can also see that the
land also holds great promise, with portions containing
unique topography not found in other areas of Piedmont Park,
including granite outcroppings and a natural creek.
This land will someday offer park-goers an entirely new
outdoor experience right in the heart of our city, but it
will take years of hard work and millions of dollars to
make it happen. Fortunately for Atlantans, the Conservancy
has committed to leading the community planning
process and multi-million fundraising campaigns
that an endeavor of this magnitude requires.
With City of Atlanta’s struggle to provide funding
for even basic maintenance (did you know the Conservancy
now provides 85% of park maintenance?), it’s not farfetched
to conclude that this land might lie fallow indefinitely
were it not for the Conservancy. But because
of this public-private partnership, not only do Atlantans
have a beautiful park to enjoy today, but also the possibility
of enjoying 50 additional acres of green space in the years
Planning and Master Plan Approval
A planning grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
has enabled Piedmont Park Conservancy to facilitate discussion
and study of the many issues surrounding North Woods reclamation.
The long list of issues examined during the planning process
includes pathways, land use, access, parking, playgrounds,
storm water management, Beltline and passenger rail transit
proposals, relocation of the city park maintenance facility,
and sewage treatment impact. Key areas of focus include cleaning
and reclaiming a polluted creek, restoring the forest and
accommodating the often conflicting requests of park users.
The Conservancy is committed to facilitating a comprehensive
and inclusive community planning process to aid responsible
decision making. View a list of previous
meetings and tours held to-date.
Strategic Issues and Recommendations (COMPLETE)–The
“Stakeholder Committee” consisted of representatives
drawn from adjacent neighborhoods, park user groups
and organizations, appropriate City of Atlanta Departments
and Bureaus and Piedmont Park Conservancy. This group
was tasked with identifying broad issues/challenges/concerns/strategies
for planning and completed its work in January 2004.
It identified six
strategic principles to guide the next phase of
||Phase 2: Master
Planning (COMPLETE)–The citizen
Committee” is an expanded group representing
park constituencies, such as bicyclists, parents, people
with disabilities, dog owners, neighborhood representatives,
etc., who are charged with examining the many issues
and ideas to make recommendations to Piedmont Park Conservancy
in order to develop a North Woods Master Plan. The Committee's
of Reference Materials (published October 1, 2003)
is available for download on the Advisory Committee
page. The The Advisory Committee began its work in March
2004 and issued its recommendations to Piedmont Park
Conservancy in November 2004.
||Phase 3: Design
and Cost Estimates (COMPLETE)–Based on the committee’s
recommendations, design firm Tunnell, Spangler &
Walsh developed design schematics and outlined project
costs in order to guide Piedmont Park Conservancy’s
next capital fundraising campaign.
two years of hard work and planning, presenting to 19
NPU's and the Urban Design Commission, the new master
plan to expand Piedmont Park by 53 acres was approved
by a City Council vote of 13 to 2!
Day Wilburn Associates, Inc. concluded a study to project
the traffic effects of the proposed shared parking garage.
Read the executive
The Access Subcommittee is conducting research on ways to
improve/increase access, including parking (perimeter and/or
garage), public transit, including the Beltline,
shuttles and MARTA. Read the Access
Subcommittee Report presented at the August 18th Advisory
The Pool Subcommittee considered the pros and cons of restoring
the current pool and bathhouse in the park vs. a community
natatorium at another location. Read the Pool
Subcommittee Report presented at the August 18th Advisory
Over the last year, the Citizen Advisory Committee, comprised
of representatives from the park’s various constituencies,
has been studying the many issues and options related to restoring
50 acres of land lying fallow in and adjacent to Piedmont
The committee issued its recommendations to Piedmont Park
Conservancy in November 2004, with the majority of representatives
favoring version A1, a 53-acre expansion plan that includes
a shared parking facility with the Atlanta Botanical Garden
(ABG), to version B1, a 50-acre plan that retains current
asphalt parking lots. In exchange for the one acre hillside
for the parking facility, ABG will return 3.3 acres of the
Storza Woods back to public park land, offering park-goers
a unique forested experience and also enabling new park entrances
at Piedmont Avenue at Westminster Drive.
The plan calls for 53 new acres of open green space, bicycle
and walking trails, formal and community gardens, an interactive
water feature, children’s playgrounds, a skate park,
athletic fields and woodlands.
map (1.1MB JPEG)
of the North Woods Master Plan. Download a draft of the North
Woods Master Plan document
Safety & Access
In addition to recommendations on land use and new amenities,
representatives also examined current access and safety issues
during the planning process. As a result, the plan recommends
the heart of the park back to green space by removing
the current 1.6 acre asphalt surface parking lot to
create a safe and unbroken “greensward”
connecting historic Piedmont Park with the expansion
||Closing the Park Drive entrance to
vehicular traffic, making it pedestrian-only in order
to eliminate the dangerous interface between cars and
pedestrians on the shared roadway between the bridge
and the current parking lot inside the park.
and camouflaging parking for park-goers and Garden visitors
into a shared parking facility.
||Built mostly underground and into
an unused, steep slope between the Park and the Garden,
the facility will be built to LEED principles and would
provide nearly three times the parking spaces, but in
less than half the footprint (one acre).
||The facility would be screened with
a 16’ high berm, 25’ trees, and extensive
trees and greenery to be 80% camouflaged on opening
pledged to fund and maintain the facility, yet share
half of the spaces with park-goers and half the proceeds
to help fund park maintenance.
||A new entryway, utilizing the variance
in topography and a unique pathway/circulation system,
completely separates cars and pedestrians throughout
the entire park for the first time.
At the Atlanta City Council meeting on November 21st, 2005,
the new master plan to expand Piedmont Park by 53 acres was
approved by a City Council vote of 13 to 2. Now Piedmont
Park Conservancy is moving forward with an aggressive plan
to raise the needed funds to make this gift to Atlanta a reality.
Questions? Send an email to email@example.com.