Box 5, Folder 16, Document 27

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Text Item Type Metadata




Office of General Manager

Atlanta, Georgia 30303 hSAing,
s &y,


October 30, 1967


Mr. Collier B. Gladin, Director
Department of Planning

City of Atlanta

City Hall

Atlanta, Georgia

SUBJECT: Neighborhood Study for Northwest - Browntown Area

Dear Collier:

My staff and I have read with interest the preliminary study of
community problems in the Northwest-Browntown Area of Atlanta.
Having been asked to comment on the contents of this report, our
observations regarding the problems, needs, and recommendations
included in the report are set forth in this letter.

To begin with, we would like to comment on the several references
to Gun Club Park. Early in the report it is stated that Perry
Homes has virtually no City recreational facilities and programs
and very limited access to those in other areas (Page 5). While
the large Gun Club Park will serve as a community park for the
entire study area, it was acquired primarily to serve the residents
of Perry Homes and is located immediately adjacent to the Perry
Homes Project. Further, the report makes several references to
Gun C).ub Park being an inadequate and poorly developed park (Pages
5,6,10 & 11), The report states that what has been built shows
little appreciation for the preferences of the local residents,
that plans should be drawn up in such a manner that the local
residents can have a voice in selecting the types of facilities

to be erected in the park (Pages 6 & 12). Before construction
began on any of the development of this park, a master plan, which
inclucled nearly every facility you would find in a community park
as well as a recreation building and swimming pool, was completed.
The master plan for Gun Club was discussed on two occasions with


Perry Homes citizens and other area residents.

(This is the pro-

cedure: followed prior to development of any new park.)
Homes citizens asked for and endorsed tennis courts.

The Perry
The park will



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Mr. Gladin — 2a October 30, 1967

include many facilities such as basketball-multi-use courts. (included
in the present phase of construction now under way) which have not

yet been built. For financial reasons, we must develop all new

parks in stages over a period of years. In most cases, the first

phase of development includes few facilities above ground that can

be seen. Most of the money goes into preparation of the site, utilities,
sewers, and underground storm drainage during the first phase of
construction. The first phase of construction of Gun Club began on
April 11, 1966, and was concluded in February 1967. This phase cost
$83,456.00 and included the following items:

1. Clearing and grubbing

2. Rough grading - West area

3. Utilities - water - sewers - lighting
4, Drive and parking

5. Sidewalks

6. Two tennis courts

7. Playgrounds

8. Fencing and retaining walls

9. Restrooms
10. Storage buildings
ll. Concrete benches
12. Landscaping - trees and shrubs
13. Finished grading and grassing.

On August 4, 1967, construction began on phase two of development,
estimated to cost $52,206.00, which includes the following items:

A. In the South portion of the park
1. The remaining portion of the parking lot
2. The addition of landscaping
3. The multi-use court area
4. The play hill and related play area
5. The erection of playground equipment and structures

B. In the North portion of the park
1. The day camping areas and related parking
2. The grading and establishment of an athletic field
with two baseball diamonds and a football field

3. Entrance drive and parking

Phase two development, while scheduled for completion in December,
1967, is running behind schedule due to technical problems but
should be completed in early 1968.

This department recently received a windfall of $350,000.00 from

the State to purchase park land and for capital improvements in
existing parks. On July 26, 1967, the Aldermanic Parks Committee
approved the allocation of $75,000.00 (the largest single allocation
to any one park) for further development of Gun Club Park. Our
original plans were to attempt to secure matching funds from the
Federal Government and, if successful, build a major size swimming
pool and bathhouse estimated to cost $150,000.00. In the meantime,
however, a study group has been organized to prepare a park and
recreation survey and plan for the entire city with projected needs

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Mr. Gladin October 30, 1967

according to population trends, etc. through 1985. This compre-
hensive study is a joint effort of the Community Council, E.0O.A.,

the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Planning Department.
Staff personnel from each of these agencies are devoting considerable
time to this project, which should be completed in late December,
1967. We have asked this group to study the Northwest area first and
attempt to determine from the area residents their preference
regarding the swimming pool or a community building. It should be
emphasized that we only have $75,000.00 allocated and our regular
community buildings, which do not include a gym and would not be
adequate for the population, have been costing approximately
$85,000.00. Federsl not available for the construction
of a recreation building as such. In order to qualify for Federal
assistance, a building would have to be a complete neighborhood
facility offering various services other than recreation. Further,
it should be pointed out that the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation is

the only Federal agency that approves grants for swimming pools;

and, 3.0.R. funds allocated to the State of Georgia being rather
limited, we have no assurance of Federal assistance in the construc-—
tion of a pool. We welcome and solicit comments from citizens'
groups in the Northwest -— Browntown area concerning their preferences.

In regard to Center Hill Park, only $20,000.00 has been allocated;
and, again, we shall attempt to secure matching Federal funds.

Center Hill Park, being an older park, has no design plan. We intend
to develop a master plan for this park, including the improvements
you have mentioned in the report.

There are references throughout the study of the lack of recreational
services in the public housing projects, to the insufficient
distr:iibution of recreation leadership, and to insufficient recreation
leadeisship due to poor development of recreation facilities in

general (Pages 5,6,10,11 & 12). This Department has realized for

many years the need for recreation leadership in public housing
projects and we have never been able to secure funds to pay salaries
of recreation leaders in these projects. However, during the summers
of 1966 and 1967 we were able to provide recreation ieadersnip through
our contract with E.O.A. in Perry Homes, Bowen Homes, and Gun Club
Park. We have provided recreation leadership at Scott School for
approximately thirty years. On a number of occasions, we have

checked out other schools in the area only to find that none are
designed for other agency use. Several years ago we attempted to-
provide recreation leadership at Whitaker School only to be asked to
leave when the principal at Whitaker School objected to our staff
being there and even secured petitions from area residents demanding
we witthdraw our program. In regard to poor facilities for recreation
programs, a tremendous increase in appropriations to parks and recrea-
tion would .be necessary before we could begin building and staffing
needed recreation centers. The cost of staffing one recreation center
properly would be a minimum of $17,290.00 annually.

This study refers numerous times to lack of communication between
citizens in the Northwest-—Browntown area and the Parks Department.
While communications have been less than perfect, we have on many
occasions discussed Gun Club Park, playlots, recreation leadership,
etc. with civic leaders, including one or more listed in the
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Mr. Gladin -4- October 30, 1967

Special Planning Committee, and with Mr. Arthur Smith, Housing Manager
of Perry Homes. I believe I am correct in stating that no community
in Atlanta has had more consultation regarding parks and recreation.
Any suggestions for improving communications would be greatly

We sincerely appreciate the efforts that have gone into the Northwest-—

Browntown area study and suggest that copies be sent to each member of
the Parks Committee as well as the Park and Recreation Study Group.

Thanking you for the opportunity to comment on this report, I am


ck C. Delius
neral Manager of
Parks and Recreation


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