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Lafayette Park Salem

Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 by Northshore

The Park, located at the intersection of Lafayette, Washington, and Harbor Streets, will closed for renovations beginning Thursday, August 24. Construction is anticipated to be largely complete by December, with final work to be finished in the spring. The Lafayette Street bus stop and nearby crosswalk over Washington and Lafayette Streets will remain open during construction. “Lafayette Park is a centrally located and important public open space, serving as a connection and green space for several neighborhoods,” said Mayor Kim Driscoll. “I am looking forward to these upgrades being completed. When finished they should provide an even more enjoyable park for neighbors and residents. I am grateful to the landscape architects, City staff, Park and Recreation Commission and Community Preservation Committee members, and, most of all, to the many residents who participated in the public process as the plans for these improvements were developed.” Lafayette Park was constructed by the Salem Rebuilding Commission after the Great Salem Fire of 1914 destroyed the city block that existed where the park stands today. A City firehouse was among the buildings that were leveled at the site. In 2014 the City marked the Great Fire centennial with the rededication of a plaque commemorating the community’s recovery from the conflagration. A 35-foot Art Deco obelisk installed in 1947 honors the service of veterans of St. Joseph’s Parish, which formerly stood across the street. In April of this year, the Salem Park and Recreation Commission approved a new park design that was developed through a public process led by the City and its landscape architecture firm, Michelle Crowley Landscape Architecture. The renovated park will maintain the veterans’ monument as its centerpiece, while adding lighting to highlight the monument and illuminate new pedestrian walkways that will be constructed along with new benches and trash/recycling barrels. The Great Fire plaque will be moved within the park to a more prominent location, and interpretive signage will be added to spotlight the history of the park. Trees will be selectively removed and planted to achieve an appropriate mix of sun and shade, and an irrigation system will be installed to support a healthy lawn. The project is made possible through the support of the Community Preservation Committee with a $100,000 Community Preservation Act grant and an additional $25,000 in City capital funds. For more information, please contact Tom Devine at the City of Salem Department of Planning & Community Development at or 978-619-5685. Read more:

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