Today, the City of Raleigh took another step toward cementing its status as a world-class city by obtaining the land for a world-class park.
When the North Carolina Council of State voted today to approve our agreement with the State of North Carolina to buy the Dorothea Dix property, Raleigh gained over 300 spectacular acres on the edge of downtown. When I see Dix Park, I see over 300 acres of potential - potential first bike rides, first games of catch, first family picnics and first dates. I see potential engagement photos in front of the skyline, potential art installations and potential movie sets. I see all the potential in those 300 acres that people once saw in the undeveloped land of other cities.
Some people have wondered why we wouldn’t just sell the land to developers to build condos or factories or offices. I’m sure that at some point, people said the same of Central Park in New York City, or of Grant Park in Chicago or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. But the truth is, great cities aren’t just defined by skyscrapers, bustling streets, shops and restaurants. Great cities are also defined by the public spaces where citizens and tourists go to escape the rat race, the hustle and bustle and the daily grind of urban life.
Great cities deserve great parks. I believe Raleigh is a great city - and I believe the Dorothea Dix property will be a great park. I’m proud to have voted to buy the land and I can’t wait to see Dorothea Dix become a world-class park.