Plaza & Play

Gateway plaza and play rendering from master plan

After years of planning, our city's extraordinary opportunity to create one of the most spectacular public spaces in the country begins with our first project, the Dix Park Plaza & Play.

The Plaza & Play project takes the concepts and elements developed in the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan to the next level through the design process.  Key to the success of the project is continued engagement with the community. Design is beginning now, and we want you to join us in shaping the future of the Dix Park Plaza & Play!

Graphic showing the location of the plaza and play project area

Project Description

The Plaza & Play is approximately 12 acres and sits on the southern edge of the park and will become the main entrance to Dix Park along Lake Wheeler Road, welcoming visitors travelling from around the City and across the State. 

As described in the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan, the Plaza & Play aspires to be an inviting and inspiring public space for all ages with one of a kind play spaces, a civic plaza, fountains, gardens, and areas to cookout and relax with family and friends.  The history of the site will come alive through public art, interpretive signage, and a rehabilitated historic house.  

The project design will rely upon and build from analyses, priorities, and recommendations as defined by the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan, approved by the Raleigh City Council on February 19, 2019.

Plaza & PLay Executive Summary 

Public Engagement

Public engagement will include three (3) Public Meetings, surveys, focus groups, and other activities to share information and gather feedback from the community.

Join us for the second Public Meeting to hear from City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, and lead project consultant Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates about how the design is taking shape, and share your feedback during a moderated live Q&A.

Public Meeting #2 – Virtual
Tuesday, January 19
6:30 - 8:00 pm

Registration and meeting details available at the link below.

PLAZA & PLAY Engagement Portal 


Plaza & Play Meetings to Date January 2021

Watch the first Public Meeting
This meeting was held virtually on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

Project Documents

View Plaza & Play presentations and documents from public meetings and the design process.

Project Overview

September 2020 - Plaza & Play Executive Summary

Public Meeting #1

October 7, 2020 - Presentation

Project Reports

December 2020 - Plaza & Play Engagement Report 1

Public Meeting #2

January 19, 2021 - Presentation


Project Phases + Timeline

  1. Pre-Design Services 
  2. Schematic Design (SD) 
  3. Design Development (DD) 
  4. Construction Documentation (CD)

Plaza & Play Design Schedule January 2021

Project Program

Program is the collection of activities that people do at the park. Planning and design for Plaza & Play program will be organized by the following themes as defined by the Master Plan:

  • Wellness and Play
  • Arts and Culture
  • Food and Community
  • Gardens and Ecology
  • History and Reflection
  • Park Support

Plaza & Play rendering from the Dix Park Master Plan showing the programs proposed for the project area.


Project Contact

Grayson Maughan – Senior Park Planner, Project Manager

Dix Area Edge Study

The Dix Edge Area Study is exploring affordable housing, public transportation, and other growth factors near the park.  For more information about the study, please contact Project Manager, Sara Ellis at or 919-996-2234.