Birds eye view of land where future Devereux Meadows Park will be with white dotted line outlining boundary

Parks

Devereux Meadow Project

Envisioning a New Urban Park

Project Overview

The City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department is in the planning and conceptual design phase for a proposed new urban park located on a 14-acre site north of downtown Raleigh, at the corner of Capital Boulevard and Peace Street. The project site is the former location of the Devereux Meadow baseball stadium. The site exists now as a City maintenance and vehicle service facility, but this use will be phased out as the park is developed in the coming years.  

The vision is for a passive park composed of walking trails, open meadows, native plantings, and stormwater wetlands along with opportunities for public art and environmental and historical interpretation of the site.  A key part of the proposed park design is the restoration of the existing Pigeon House Branch, including re-establishing a more natural flow to this waterway. Another important component is the first phase of a new greenway connecting Crabtree Creek Greenway to Downtown Raleigh and Dix Park.  

Most of this site is in the floodplain and contains areas of subsurface contamination. This contamination warrants environmental remediation before becoming a public park. Between 2017 and 2020, the project consultant, Tetra Tech Engineering, conducted environmental site analysis and constraints evaluations which are used to inform project planning and design.  

The current conceptual and schematic design stage was initiated in December 2020. This stage includes the production of conceptual design alternatives vetted through internal and external engagement with city staff, local stakeholders and the public, the Parks Board, and the City Council. At this time, funding for the construction of this proposed park has not been allocated.

The vision for the park includes:

  • Passive open areas and walking paths
  • Environmental and historical interpretation
  • Natural stormwater treatment areas
  • Daylighting and restoration of Pigeon House Branch
  • The first phase of a greenway connection from Crabtree Creek Greenway to Downtown Raleigh

This project is in cooperation with the Raleigh Stormwater Division.
 

Project Details

 
Type:
Parks
Budget:
$2,000,000 (Environmental Studies, Park Planning and Design)
Project Lead:
Gary Claiborne
Contractors:
Tetra Tech Engineering (Civil and Environmental Engineering and Consulting), Design Workshop (Landscape Architecture), and Ecosystems Planning and Restoration (Stream and Wetland Restoration Consultants)

Contact

 

Gary Claiborne, Capital Projects Manager

Lead Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Participating Department:
Engineering Services
Service Unit:
Stormwater

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Public Engagement

Virtual Open House - Spring 2021

In May 2021, a virtual public open house was held for the proposed Devereux Meadow Park project. A recording of the meeting is available for public viewing on the City of Raleigh YouTube channel. A condensed version of this presentation is available here.

A separate video of the history of the Devereux Meadow Park site is also available for viewing.

A second public open house is planned for early 2022.

If you have any questions or have any additional comments on the Devereux Meadow Park project, you can email questions or comments to DevereuxMeadowPark@PublicInput.com or leave a voice mail at 855-925-2801, project code 6331.  
 

 

History

Although today a paved City of Raleigh maintenance facility, the Devereux Meadow site has a rich and complex history that illustrates important moments in Raleigh’s past. 

During the pre-history period, the area near and around Devereux Meadow was used as hunting lands by Native Americans.  Piedmont and Coastal Plain Native Americans may have both crossed paths along the riparian corridor of the present-day Pigeon House Branch to track buffalo and other game.

During the settlement of Raleigh in the 1700s, the site was once a part of the Robert Halton tract and then later owned by the Lane and Mordecai family. Margaret Mordecai and her husband John Devereux, Jr. inherited a piece of her family’s land which is understood to have included the site of present-day Devereux Meadow.  

During the Civil War, the project area included earthwork structures, many of which were built by enslaved people.  Union troops may have camped on the project site which was referred to as “Devereux Grove.”  There is also a later reference to the property having a millpond that was locally referred to as Mordecai’s millpond. 

After the war, several communities developed around this area of Raleigh and the new railroad.  These communities are referred to as Brooklyn and Smoky Hollow.  During the late 1800s, “Devereux Meadow” is mentioned to be a community gathering space by several of the neighborhood churches.  

At the turn of the century, the original Devereux family home, known as Will’s Forest, was demolished.  Several mills were built such as Pilot and Cotton Mill along with houses for the mill workers in the Smoky Hollow community.  In the early 1900s, Devereux Meadow is referred to as a playground and included public ball fields and other recreational uses.  

Nearby neighborhoods such as Smoky Hollow remained in the area until the 1950’s when both African American and white families were forcibly removed from the neighborhood and the homes demolished.

In the 1930s and 1940s, with the help of the WPA, the Devereux Meadow baseball stadium was constructed.  The stadium construction included the burying and channelization of Pigeon House Branch.

The Devereux Meadow stadium was used as a minor league baseball stadium from the late 1930s until it was closed in the early 1970s and eventually demolished in 1979.  Teams that played there include the Raleigh Capitals.  It is understood that several baseball greats, including Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson, played at Devereux Meadow.  Portions of the stadium wall still stand along the western edge of the site.  

Following the demolition of the stadium, the site was converted over to the current city-owned maintenance facility.

The vision for this site as a public park has been around for several years. The Capital Boulevard Corridor Study Report (2012) and the Raleigh Downtown Plan (2015) noted this project as being a priority.

The 2014 Parks Bond Referendum included funding for the current environmental studies and park planning and design phases.  Construction for the park is currently unfunded. 

Schedule

Date Activity
2017-2020 Site Environmental Analysis
Fall 2020-Fall 2022 Site Planning, Conceptual Design, and Stakeholder and Community Engagement

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