Downtown Vincennes park may be done by Homecoming
A pocket park in downtown Vincennes, complete with restrooms, is hoped to be completed by late September. When it is finished, residents will have a nicely landscaped park, with benches, trash receptacles, proper lighting, and working restrooms in the 400 block of Main Street, next to the historic Pantheon Theatre. It is a project that has taken some time to get done.
“It has gone on awhile because we’re trying to do this on a light budget,” said Vincennes architect Larry Donovan, whose firm, Donovan and Donavan, Inc., designed the park. “People have been very good to us, providing discounts on materials and they’ve even given us their time, and we’ve had to wait until they’ve had the time.”
The pocket park idea came from Shirley Rose, a member of the Vincennes City Council. The buildings at the site had been vacant for a number of years, and they were falling apart. The
Vincennes Urban Enterprise Association managed to make a deal with the owner to buy the property, paving the way for the park. The UEZ also provided some seed money for the park, but most of it is being financed by donated money, materials, and labor.
“This park really belongs to the community,” Rose said. “This part of downtown really needed public restrooms. That was the big reason for doing it.”
Jim Zeigler, president of the Urban Enterprise Association, agreed. He vacations frequently in Wisconsin where most towns — even smaller ones — have public restrooms in their downtown areas.
“I think we really need that,” he said.
“Tourists will really appreciate it.”
Rose said efforts to get the property and to plan for the park began during the last part of Mayor Al Baldwin’s administration.
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