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City Issues RFP for Downtown Parks Master Plan

Post Date:06/29/2017 2:15 PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -- The City of Charlottesville has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Downtown Parks Master Plan.

Charlottesville City Council resolved at its meeting of February 6, 2017 to transform the City of Charlottesville's public spaces in keeping with the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces (BRC) to change the narrative in Charlottesville by telling the full story of race through public spaces.  This effort to complete the history of race in our City will affirm the City's commitment to truth, freedom and equity.

To that end, the RFP seeks proposals to develop a master plan for the boundaries of Justice Park (formerly Jackson Park) and Emancipation Park (formerly Lee Park) in Downtown Charlottesville.  The RFP asks that the master plan:

  •  Redesign and transform Justice Park (formally known as Jackson Park) through the addition of a new memorial to Charlottesville's enslaved population while retaining its ability to function as a community gathering space,
  • Redesign Emancipation Park (formally known as Lee Park), both inclusive and independent of the statue of Robert E. Lee while retaining its ability to function as a community gathering space,
  • Become familiar with the Equal Justice Initiative's Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama and the potential to incorporate elements of that initiative into the design(s).
  • Replace the current plaque at the slave auction block with one that is legible, and
  • Identify and acknowledge the site of the Freedman's Bureau.

"This RFP, the community engagement to follow, and the ultimate redesign of these parks will be a huge step forward for Charlottesville," said Mayor Mike Signer.  "By agreeing to allocate up to $1 million to the two parks' overhaul and to new installations recognizing civil rights victories and the stain of slavery, Charlottesville will at last rebut the false history behind the Lee and Jackson statues and change the narrative on race in our historic city."  

Pursuant to the City Council resolution passed unanimously on February 6, 2017, the RFP will require applicants to:

  • Provide at least two preliminary Master Plan options of the above inclusive of new site plans, elevations and sections, 3D visualizations, and specifications for signage, commemorative plaques, lighting and landscape elements as appropriate throughout this historic precinct so as to create a coherent narrative.
  • Engage the community at large in a manner that ensures that those underrepresented communities were fulsomely included in the process, as well as the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) the Historic Resources Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the PLACE Design Task Force, Planning Commission and City Council.
  • Provide preliminary cost estimates on all options.
  • Establish a timeline to be completed within 12 months of contract signing.
  • Allow for the development, design and implementation of a final Master Plan as adopted by City Council, through a total project budget not to exceed $1,000,000.00

Sealed proposals are due to the City by 2:00pm on August 17, 2017.

The RFP is available on the City's website here.

More information on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race Memorials and Public Spaces is online here.

Minutes from the February 6, 2017 City Council meeting at which this matter was discussed are online here, included in this document is the resolution passed by City Council. For convenience, the resolution is available as a standalone document here.

All City Council meetings are also available as archived video here.

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