Woodruff Park Revamped

Woodruff Park — most know it as that sometimes shady land island between Park Place and Peachtree Street heavily congested with homeless people and GSU students. CAP/ADID is seeking to revamp the Park in a number of ways (if you recall from last year during the Downtown Atlanta Festival, they transformed Woodruff Park into a beach volleyball arena in May). For starters, CAP/ADID hired Dan Biederman for a consultant (one of the driving forces behind revamping Bryant Park in NYC — remember the free ice skating?) and with that, they’re planning to bring some new and expanded events to the space (after the jump):

  • Wednesdays in Woodruff – This is going to be a new weekly lunchtime event series similar to the Lunch on Broad series. The noon event will have different musical groups performing and in May will showcase the Atlanta Jazz Festival. This program will start on May 3 and continue through September 27. I think this is a smart move — Centennial Olympic Park has Music @ Noon from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; this will at least give downtown folks another option during the week for some outside entertainment (provided it’s not too hot to enjoy it). Check out the tentative schedule.
  • Lunch on Broad – The series is going to expand this year to include Broad Street from Marietta (between Walton and Luckie) through to the Park, where the music stage will be relocated. If you’ve ever been to Lunch on Broad, you can tell it’s a very nice change of pace seeing all the tables and people buzzing about. CAP/ADID is already replacing the benches in Woodruff Park with French-style bistro tables and chairs to give the event a “European feel”. I wonder if they actually got the tables and chairs from Europe… Anyway, this is going on from May 5 through September 29 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. every Friday. Check out the tentative schedule.

I think it’s great that Woodruff Park is cleaning up to bring people downtown and showcase the area as a safe place — Downtown Atlanta needs all the help it can get. And while the area runs the risk of being a tourist trap with all these downtown improvements, they may just open up new possibilites for urban planning.

Or more traffic. Who knows?

7 Comments so far

  1. translation (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 8:04 am

    “Woodruff Park is cleaning up”
    “showcase the area as a safe place”

    See also: Screw the poor, get the poor anywhere but out of my sight, don’t spend money on addressing roots of homelessness: just pay to make the park clear of them and pretty for the office workers.

    Sometimes refrerenced as: safety means not having to see poor black folk asking me for money as I am scared of that!

  2. Marcus (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 8:58 am

    Wow – you hit the nail on the head!!! Why use a park for anything more than an outdoor homeless shelter? Why use it as it was intended to be used – that would be stupid. We should build more parks and close down the existing shelters we have.

    “don’t spend money on addressing roots of homelessness” – absolutely. Beacuse cleaning up a park is probably sucking dry all of the homeless programs that we have.

  3. Andrew (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 9:26 am

    I’m sure the displaced homeless wouldn’t be homeless if it were for the undocumented (illegal) workers.

    I don’t understand the uproar about displacing the homeless. People in life make bad decisions, but it was their decisions that led to them being homeless. There is work available in this town. If a family of 4 immigrants can forge a living in the landscaping industry, I fail to see why these “homeless” can not do the same. The problem being that they won’t take the bottle or the crack pipe out of their mouths long enough to find work. Personal responsibility folks. Accept the consequences of the decisions you make and the world will be a better place.

  4. blame (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 11:27 am

    Andrew, I hope I can blame you for every misfortune that happens to you.. clearly no one in your world ever has circumstances that are outside of their control. The fact is many of the people who have no place to stay need medical and psychiatric attention, and because they can’t pay the bills they are turned loose on the street.

    And since you favor the bootstrap approach, can they use your house and cell phone # when filling out applications for work? And borrow your clothes?

    I guess they could always move into the mansions these “4 immigrants” live in.. what a life, eh? Four adults working hard labor can afford a house.. truly the streets are paved with gold.

    You people make me sick.

  5. Andrew (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

    No, they can’t borrow my clothes, my phone number, etc. I worked too hard to get those things for myself. I also gradutated from school, work when I need to, stay sober, don’t gamble, etc. I’ve never collected unemployment and never blamed society for my ills. A few of these folks may be suffering from situations outside of their control, mental illness, but a vast majority of them do not.

  6. one of "you people" (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

    I am sure the illegal immigrants that live in my sister’s neighborhood (That would be Norcross, folks) who rent 95% of the neighborhood might let Atlanta’s Woodruff homeless stay there, but the homeless would probably have to work, not smoke crack. These illegals work hard, no joke. And then they come home and the whole family walks to the store together to buy groceries and carry them home. Then they play soccer in the yards. Very family oriented. Happy. Maybe it’s because they are not all bent out the frame worrying about RACISM. Would working be reasonable?

    See, I know for a fact that the people in these houses sleep at least 10 or 12 to a house, not including the children. There is like five or six cars to each house. All the adults go to work everyday minus the women who stay home to watch the children.

    I bet if one of these folks needed cash, they would find a way to work. The same way some find a way to smoke crack. Where there’s a will, there’s a way…cheers.

  7. chester (unregistered) on April 21st, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

    i bet the bistro tables will be neat.

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