First Street Square is open for use.
Officials gathered under a tent left from a busy weekend full of activities, where they spoke briefly, thanking all who worked hard to plan and complete the city’s newest park.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and others cut the ribbon in sweltering 95-degree heat.
Approximately 75 people attended the opening of the new park which features greenspace and activity areas such as a pavilion stage, then quickly dispersed to the monthly MainStreet Cleveland luncheon held at the Elks Lodge.
During the weekend, the MainStreet Farmer’s Market was held.
Approximately 20 vendors sold their produce and other items. On Saturday, an arts and crafts show was showcased at the park, explained Sharon Marr, executive director of MainStreet Cleveland.
Doug Caywood, president of the organization, said the project was the largest single undertaking that MainStreet has partnered.
“Approximately four years and three presidents of MainStreet have passed through,” said Caywood as he spoke to members.
“This project was a part of the 2003 master plan,” added Caywood.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland remembered both Jack Wilson and Bobby Taylor who recently passed away and were influential members of the downtown area and MainStreet Cleveland.
Chamber of Commerce president Gary Farlow noted First Street Square is a beautiful addition to downtown and will be a great asset to the city.
City officials, including Marr, thanked all individuals and businesses involved in planning and completing the park.
MainStreet officials partnered with the city to construct the park which was purchased from the Jack Wilson family.
The city matched a $250,000 investment by MainStreet Vision 1000 partners and others, and grants from the Tennessee MainStreet Program to complete the park.
According to City Manager Janice Casteel, the project cost approximately $600,000 including the land purchase, demolition, cleanup and other work.