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frankliner

Ritter Park neighborhood

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I remember when I was growing up being awed by the Ritter Park area of Huntington. When I went back recently, there were several grand homes in various states of decay, but several renovation projects going on. Does anyone know if there has been a trend toward further decay or more renovation in this area in recent years? Also, has the city made any recent investments in and around this area?

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There have been some renovations on houses immediately surrounding the park. Depending on what you mean by recent years, there have been investments in the park as well, although I think the Greater Huntington Parks and Recreation District is responsible for those more than the city.

Notable renovations have included:

  • New tennis court building, featuring concessions and showers

  • Bathrooms and a small meeting room next to the Rose Garden

  • New bathrooms, some lighting and sound renovations to the Amphitheater

  • Artwork (statues) scattered through the park

  • Paved section of walkway that often remained swampy

In addition, though it's slightly off-topic, Rotary Park has also seen improvements. There are new walking paths, new parking areas, and a large Frisbee golf course. (24 holes, I believe.) It's also open later -- a major change for a park that not long ago was a haven for drug and illicit sex activities.

GHPRD has improved several other city parks as well. The only one suffering is the Riverfront Park, actually. Sad to say, it's become a haven for homeless who confront people begging for money. There has been talk of a bike trail to be built along the Ohio from the east end of Huntington to Virginia Point in Kenova, but I don't know if that would work -- there are several industrial areas along that route.

GHPRD has been suffering itself recently. It is being funded at a horribly low level -- approximately $15 per person in the area per year, versus $50 per person per year for the Charleston Parks. At the same time, it is responsibly for considerably more land area and more park facilities. There is a bond issue to increase funding slated for the elections this year. We'll see if the people of the area are willing to fund it.

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There have been some renovations on houses immediately surrounding the park. Depending on what you mean by recent years, there have been investments in the park as well, although I think the Greater Huntington Parks and Recreation District is responsible for those more than the city.

Notable renovations have included:

  • New tennis court building, featuring concessions and showers

  • Bathrooms and a small meeting room next to the Rose Garden

  • New bathrooms, some lighting and sound renovations to the Amphitheater

  • Artwork (statues) scattered through the park

  • Paved section of walkway that often remained swampy

In addition, though it's slightly off-topic, Rotary Park has also seen improvements. There are new walking paths, new parking areas, and a large Frisbee golf course. (24 holes, I believe.) It's also open later -- a major change for a park that not long ago was a haven for drug and illicit sex activities.

GHPRD has improved several other city parks as well. The only one suffering is the Riverfront Park, actually. Sad to say, it's become a haven for homeless who confront people begging for money. There has been talk of a bike trail to be built along the Ohio from the east end of Huntington to Virginia Point in Kenova, but I don't know if that would work -- there are several industrial areas along that route.

GHPRD has been suffering itself recently. It is being funded at a horribly low level -- approximately $15 per person in the area per year, versus $50 per person per year for the Charleston Parks. At the same time, it is responsibly for considerably more land area and more park facilities. There is a bond issue to increase funding slated for the elections this year. We'll see if the people of the area are willing to fund it.

A lot of those same users do not live in Huntington, so do they have to pay taxes on the parks? I know that the GHPRD has facilities outside the city limits, so should this be a county-wide issue?

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It is a county bond issue. I don't know if it's a bond issue in Wayne County as well, though it should be. GHPRD covers Wayne County Parks as well.

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What type/style of artwork have they put in Ritter? I don't remember seeing that when I was there last. You're right, it's sad about how Huntington seems to shun itself from the river. I understand the flooding concerns, but most of the world's "livable" cities have found a way to successfully utilize that resource.

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What type/style of artwork have they put in Ritter? I don't remember seeing that when I was there last. You're right, it's sad about how Huntington seems to shun itself from the river. I understand the flooding concerns, but most of the world's "livable" cities have found a way to successfully utilize that resource.

The floodwall is a huge barrier to utilizing the riverfront to its maximum potential. To do any modifications to it, such as adding entrances, will require a lengthy approval period through the Army Corps of Engineers.

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