Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What should we do with Dix Hill?

Advocates of converting more than 300 acres of the Dorothea Dix hospital property for a new capital area park have told the legislature: Thanks for nothing. But they said it with a smile.
They’re relieved the N.C. General Assembly didn’t act quickly about how to use the property near downtown Raleigh. For years it has has housed the state’s original mental health hospital as well as state offices. With the hospital set to close before long, park advocates want to make it into a grand destination park. Developers would like to build shops and homes on part of it. Gov. Mike Easley has recommended new state office buildings for part of it.
The park advocates asked the legislature to convey 306 acres of the Dix Hill campus for the park, but legislators haven’t moved. Here’s the text of a press release the groups put out this week:
“Dix Park advocacy groups announced they are pleased the General Assembly did not made a quick decision about the future use of the Dorothea Dix Campus by the close of the General Assembly session on August 2, 2007. All three groups pledge to continue working to create a 306-acre, world-class destination park.
“Although we did not get our 306-acre Dix Park this session, we are pleased the General Assembly did not act rashly,” said Jay Spain, President of the Friends of Dorothea Dix Park. “We look forward to continuing our work with all the stakeholders to create a 306-acre, world-class destination park that all North Carolinians will be proud to visit.”
The current moratorium expires on September 1, 2007. This was put in place to protect the land on Dorothea Dix Campus as various land uses were considered. The General Assembly adjourned at 10:15 p.m. on Thursday August 2, 2007 without passing any legislation relating to the Dix Campus.
“Dix306 would like to thank the citizens of North Carolina for their constant and overwhelming support for the creation of a 306-acre, world-class destination park,” said Bill Padgett, President of the Dix 306 Board. “This park will bring ‘quality of time and space’ for millions, billions economically for N.C., but most importantly it is the right thing to do for those generations yet to be born. We ask for you to ‘stay the course’ and ‘keep those yard signs flying!’ as we build together the vision that future generations will experience.”
“This property is too rich in its heritage for us to act without great reverence toward the memory of Dorothea Dix and in consideration of the best use of the land for all North Carolinians in the future,” said Gregory Poole, Jr., President of the Dix Visionaries. “We are grateful the General Assembly is approaching the use of this land with the judiciousness and prudence it deserves.”
About the three groups:
Friends of Dorothea Dix Park (FDDP), founded in 2004, is a 501(c)3 organization made up of thousands of individuals and more than 30 member organizations whose mission is to preserve the Dorothea Dix Campus as a world-class destination park. FDDP is dedicated to educating people across North Carolina about the value of preserving the land as a destination park and why it is the right thing to do for our children, our economic stability and our overall quality of life. For more information please visit www.dixpark.org .
DIX306 is a grassroots organization made up of member organizations and individuals from across the state of North Carolina who are actively working to spread the word about the land issue through a state-wide yard sign campaign and other vehicles. More information is available at www.dix306.org.
Dix Visionaries are a group of North Carolina business and community leaders from across North Carolina working together to raise awareness and funds from the private sector to support the preservation of a destination park on the 306 acres, the only remaining acreage of the original 2,000 acre tract on the Dorothea Dix Mental Hospital property.
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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yada yada yada ... could somebody tell Betts and any any others to ditch the stupid looking bowties? We know George Will is behind it all... they maybe were OK as 5 year olds in Sunday School .. they suck otherwise.

Mark Ezzell said...

Wouldn't it be nice if there was as much discussion generated over the future of Dix residents (and others with mental illness) as there has been over the future of Dix property?

At the rate we're going, we made need a Dix Park to provide Dix residents a place to live. That's an awfully sad commentary on the priorities of our state and state capitol.

PS- Love the bow tie!

Anonymous said...

Make it a Park!!

David McKnight said...

Bow ties are cool. I had one when I was first learning to play the violin. Imagine that, a kid with a bow and a bow tie too!

Anonymous said...

Nothing actually needs to be done to the land to make it a park. It already is one in some ways. What you have is an open area in downtown Raleigh. On the site are numerous state office and other buildings.

If developers weren't so keen to develop the property, it would remain open, with a few ball fields, meadows and thinly treed forest areas.

What the 'save the park' people propose is not so different than the developers. A world class destination park????

Sounds like development to me.

Leave it alone and let the city spread around and past it, as it already has. 300 acres won't bring enough to the state coffers to make a dent, and the open area in a downtown would be gone.

Lewis Guignard

Never thought about the bow tie.
Did you ever read the book "The Cruise of the Alabama and the Sumter?

X said...

It is a park, with too many buildings on it. If Easley and the developers can't see that no one wants this property to turn into anything else than a park, then they should find new work. Period

Anonymous said...

dix should be left open until the continuum community care for mental health consumers that easley and odom promised years ago is funded adequately and working properly. that is not too much to ask, but most people don't care about the patients. they only see a park as a godsend that they are entitled to. that is a sad commentary on how we treat people who are less fortunate.

Lisa M Peacock said...

I think that it is a shame that such a place that has served the mentally ill for years is going to be designated for buildings, parks, etc... as human-beings should be the priority. Some of these people have no where to go and its going to be hard to place them. Shouldn't safety be our first priority?? The government will pay later with putting a $ first before humans. It will take someone getting hurt by a patient and or client until it will be a realization that some people can be mainstreamed into society while others need this type of care that is essential to them as well as everyone else around them. I work with the mentally ill as a QP and know that this is a big mistake and there will probably be another class action lawsuit like Thomas S and or Willie M* This place was designated for the mentally ill and this should be honored if people are a true representation of their word and quit looking at making a dollar because I can promise you will pay back more than you dare to make if a decision is not ruled in favor of the mentally ill who should have some say so and rights themselves!!

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