RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – The City of Raleigh is transforming a former maintenance yard and vehicle fleet facility into a new $2 million urban park. The project is currently named Devereux Meadow Park.
The problem is, the name Devereux is traced back to John Devereux, Jr.. Devereux was known to be a plantation and slave owner. Historical records say he owned more than 1,500 slaves in the 1850s.
The Devereux family was known to be among the state’s largest slave owning families. In addition, Devereux Jr. was an officer in the Confederacy.
While the city says the future park’s site specifically refers to a former minor league baseball stadium on the site from the 1940s to the 1970s– Devereux Meadow Stadium– the Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board recommended the project be renamed.
Residents now have the chance to pick that new name.
The following three names are the options for the future park:
- Gateway Park
- Smoky Hollow Park
- Robinson-Greenberg Park
A quick two-question survey is live on the city’s website until Sept. 9. Click here to vote on the proposed names.
On Sept. 15, survey results will be presented at the PRGAB meeting.
The Gateway Park name would refer to site’s location along Capital Boulevard. A city study in 2012 said the site would be a “gateway element as one arrives into Downtown from the north”.
Smoky Hollow Park refers to interracial, working class Smoky Hollow neighborhood of the 1800s. Those residents were forced out in the 1950s. The future park’s location, however, was not included within the Smoky Hollow neighborhood.
Robinson-Greenberg Park would be named for Jackie Robinson and Hank Greenberg– professional baseball players from the early to mid 1900s who broke through racial barriers in professional sports. While records show both played in Raleigh, neither are local. Robinson, however, did play at the former Devereux Meadow Stadium.
The park project encompasses a 14-acre site with plans to include pathways, plazas, and natural spaces. It could also include the first greenway connection from Crabtree Creek Greenway to Downtown Raleigh.