Draft Master Plan
The City of Raleigh is excited to announce the release of the draft Master Plan for Dorothea Dix Park. The creation of Dix Park is a once-in-a-generation opportunity – to build an urban park of this size in the heart of a city that is to become a transformative public space for our community.
The Master Plan proposes transforming the Dix hospital site into Dorothea Dix Park through:
- A statement of core principles
- An analysis of the history and existing conditions
- A proposal for six landscapes with a unifying framework of entrances, roads, and paths
- Suggestions on programming (playgrounds, building use, gardens, plazas, sport fields, etc.)
- Recommendations on implementation (next phases of work, funding tools and partnerships)
Want to know more? Check out our FAQs below for a breakdown of information included in the 240+ page draft Master Plan.
The diverse input from our community over this 18-month process has directly informed the vision outlined in the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan. We are grateful for each contribution made to help Dix Park become a park for everyone, built by everyone.
The public comment period for the draft Master Plan is January 4 – 18, 2019.
Follow the link below to view the draft Master Plan and share your feedback on our community platform. A printed copy is available for review at community centers throughout the city beginning January 4, 2019. There is one copy for review at each center.
The Master Plan is accompanied by an extensive appendix that highlights studies done by sub-consultants. See below for each section.
Draft Master Plan Appendix:
Landscape History - Suzanne Turner Associates (STA)
Transportation Engineering-VHB Engineering NC, P.C.
Ecology-Applied Ecological Services, Inc. AES
Civil engineering- SEPI Engineering & Construction
Preservation Architecture- Joseph K. Opperman- Architect, P.A. (JKOA)
Public Engagement -City of Raleigh, Neighborland, & Perry Street Studios
Final Community Meeting | February 6, 2019
Mark your calendars for the Final Community Meeting on Wednesday, February 6 at the Raleigh Convention Center to learn about the Master Plan, celebrate the dedication and support from the community and hear about the next steps in bringing the vision of Dorothea Dix Park to life - including ways to stay or get involved. Please RSVP to help us prepare and to receive updates on any possible changes to the meeting.
Meeting Reports + Records
See past presentations, meeting summaries, and documents from the master plan process including City Council Work Sessions, Community Meetings, Executive Committee Meetings, Advisory Committee Meetings, and Workgroup Meetings
A Community-Led Process
The City of Raleigh, in partnership with Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, has embarked on a generational effort to create America’s next great public park. It truly is a special place that has the potential to capture the imagination of the world with compelling, courageous and innovative ideas.
The Master Plan process is governed by a community-led, multi-tier structure. Ultimately, Raleigh City Council will make the the final decision about the Master Plan for Dorothea Dix Park. The following graphic represents the anticipated timeline with major milestones for the master plan process. Each line represents one of the six themes that are continuously explored and refined throughout the entire planning period, often called an "iterative design process."
Share Your Vision for the Future
The input of the entire community is essential to creating a park for everyone; please join us throughout the Master Plan process by attending community meetings, and submitting your ideas on our community platform.
What is special about this region that you love and want to preserve?
What do you feel this region needs?
What might make Dorothea Dix Park special to you?
What might bring you back again and again?
The Design Team
After a six-month intensive application and interview process for a lead consultant to help guide the master plan process, a world-class team of consultants led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) was recommended by the Master Plan Executive Committee and unanimously approved by the Raleigh City Council in early 2017.
Michael Van Valkenburgh and his team of consultants lead the development of a visionary Master Plan that will guide the creation of Dorothea Dix Park as a world-class destination that will welcome, engage, and inspire. The planning process is happening right now and will be completed in spring 2019. The Master Plan work is being paid for by private individuals and organizations, through contributions to Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy.
Michael Van Valkenburgh and MVVA are consistently recognized with the highest professional honors for design excellence and innovation; as just one example, in 2010 Brooklyn Bridge Park became the only landscape ever to win the Brenden Gill Prize, created by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to honor the artistic work that most embodies the spirit of the City of New York.
“The Master Plan Executive Committee was extremely fortunate to have four incredibly talented consultants to choose from,” Mayor McFarlane said when the announcement was made. “However, Michael Van Valkenburgh rose above the rest as the consultant best able to develop a master park plan that reflects the past, captures the present and reveals the future of Dorothea Dix Park. Raleigh is a hub of innovation and I am so excited to see what Michael is able to accomplish in partnership with our wonderful community here in Raleigh!”
Master Plan Executive Committee
The Master Plan Executive Committee selected the master plan consultant team, oversees the allocation of funding, will make final plan recommendations to City Council and will work with other leadership groups from across the city for the planning process. This committee meets on an as-needed basis, usually once a month at minimum. The Executive Committee is a public body and is subject to the public records law and open meetings law.
City of Raleigh Members:
- Nancy McFarlane, Mayor & Committee Chair
- Kay Crowder, Council Member
- Ken Bowers, Director of Planning
- Diane Sauer, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy Members:
- Jim Goodmon, Chairman of the Board
- Orage Quarles, Board Member
- Carlton Midyette, Board Member
- Randy Woodson, Board Member & Chancellor of North Carolina State University
Master Plan Advisory Committee
The Mayor and City Council appointed 45 members to the Master Plan Advisory Committee. Criteria for appointment included the following: interest/specialization, diversity (age, gender, race, geography, etc.), and experience leading a group. Members are:
Master Plan Workgroups
Legacy Committee Report
The Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy Legacy Committee crafted a detailed report explaining the deep and complex history of the Dorothea Dix Park site.
The report is broken into four sections: 1) The recommended theme to guide the park's issues overall; 2) An outline of the legacy the committee thinks should be honored or remembered within the park; 3) Proposed tangible ways to convey the legacy and what would actually be on the ground in the park; and 4) The committee's recommendations to the Dix Park Conservancy Board, The City of Raleigh, The Dix Park Master Plan Executive Committee, and Advisory Committee, the consulting firm MVVA, and the Raleigh City Council.
Proposed Park Theme of Wellness: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”- The World Health Organization
Recent Community Meeting
Our most recent community meeting was held on October 4th at Union Station. Learn more about the event and information presented at the link below.