On May 17, 2023 in North Carolina, the City of Charlotte and Charlotte City Center Partners (CCCP) began work on the revitalization of an uptown park that soon will become a place for public engagement, celebration and reflection.
The new and renovated features and design are based on input from the community.
In March, the city approved plans to redevelop Polk Park in partnership with a coalition of business and civic leaders, along with CCCP, that will transform the city-owned park into a celebrated public space that welcomes all.
The park will be renamed to honor philanthropist and former Bank of America Chairman and CEO Hugh McColl Jr.
Located in the heart of Charlotte at Trade and Tryon streets, the 1/3-acre park was built in 1991 and has become obsolete with limited gathering space, poor lighting, outdated landscaping, and a hard-to-maintain fountain.
The city is handling deconstruction of the park, which will include preserving and relocating some features, with work expected to be complete in early July.
The site will be graded and resurfaced for public use, as design and planning for the new park takes place.
A project architect will soon be selected and designers will seek public input and ideas from residents, adjacent landowners, business leaders, historic and other interest groups, donors and other stakeholders.
The Hugh McColl Park Coalition is raising funds to pay for the rehabilitation of the park, to better reflect the character of adjacent properties and the prominence of the “public square” it occupies.
The coalition envisions a functional, flexible and elegantly crafted urban park that celebrates Charlotte’s history and acknowledges McColl’s vision and contributions as a philanthropist and business leader.
The Hugh McColl Park Coalition includes Charlotte leaders who worked with McColl on various projects and issues.
Among them: Co-Chairs Malcomb Coley, Charlotte managing partner for EY; Cyndee Patterson, former city councilwoman; Kieth Cockrell, president of Bank of America Charlotte; Harvey Gantt, former Charlotte mayor; Michael Marsicano, former president and CEO of Foundation For The Carolinas; Loy McKeithen, former partner at McGuireWoods; Rolfe Neill, former publisher of The Charlotte Observer; and Michael Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners.
The revitalization is expected to be complete by summer of 2025.
Photo courtesy of the City of Charlotte.