Work Set To Begin On An Outdoor ‘Cultural Center For Black Louisville’ In Parkland

An empty lot at 2757 Dumesnil Street in The West End is being transformed into a community gathering place. This past weekend, the groundbreaking event happened, and construction is set to begin in mid-October on the new Parkland Plaza. It will provide a playground for kids and an outdoor event venue for community events, including pop-up markets, community festivals and concerts.

The project will cost $187,000 with money being raised by residents of Parkland, the Parkland Business and Development Association, 1200 LLC, Center For Neighborhoods, TreesLouisville, and Louisville Metro Government.

The new space will provide a needed lift to the community as it works to improve the quality of life for its residents. Tamika Jackson of the Parkland Business and Development Association said in the release, “We are excited to see the collective vision of Parkland Plaza come to reality. The Parkland Plaza will continue to be instrumental in the momentum to enhance the Historic Parkland Corridor and surrounding area into a more thriving, self-sustaining community. We are truly grateful for those who laid the foundation before us, and those that have joined and embraced us in this journey to improve the quality of life in the Parkland community.”

This project is happening in addition to the announcement that two other historic West End parks, Elliott and Chickasaw parks, will be getting facelifts.

Always busy, artist Victor Sweatt will produce a mural for the space. The construction of the plaza will include removing the old asphalt, replacing it with grass, new trees and native plants. A community stage and seating will also be installed. A new parking lot will be created as well using Cool Seal, which helps to lower surface temperatures and helps to fight against urban heat islands.

1200 LLC, founded by council member Jecorey Arthur, has signed an agreement with Louisville Metro to provide community programming for the venue once it opens.

“As a musician, I’ve experienced world-class outdoor gathering spaces from Louisville to Leicester. It’s a dream to have one in my childhood neighborhood. Parkland Plaza will be the cultural center of Black Louisville,” said Arthur in a statement.

From a press release, other sources of funding for the plaza came from these businesses: “Partners for Places, the Community Foundation of Louisville, the Arbor Day Foundation, Louisville Metro Council District 1, Fund for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Schneider Electric Foundation, the Louisville NAACP, Louisville Water Company, Signarama Downtown, and many in-kind contributions from the listed partners as well as Gresham Smith, WorK Architecture + Design, GuardTop, Trane, Beltline Electric, Nucor Steel Brandenburg, GexPro, and Realm Construction.”

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About the Author

Work Set To Begin On An Outdoor ‘Cultural Center For Black Louisville’ In Parkland

Erica Rucker is LEO Weekly’s Arts & Entertainment Editor. In addition to her work at LEO, she is a haphazard writer,  photographer, tarot card reader, and fair to middling purveyor of motherhood. Her earliest memories are of telling stories to her family and promising that the next would be shorter than the first. They never were. You can follow Erica on Twitter, but beware of honesty, overt blackness and occasional geeky outrage.

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