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Cru Jones

War Memorial Park

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This may belong in the Mid Town thread. If so, I apologize, but I thought it was worthy of it's own topic.

Is it within the realm of reality that War Memorial Park could be re-designed to utilize the space to benefit a much larger portion of the LR population? Right now, War Memorial is wasted space for all but 2 segments of the population. 1. Folks who like to tailgate two days out of the year for the games at the stadium 2. A bad golf course for Beginner golfers (the course isn't even a full length course. Par 65 I believe.), and there are plenty of other golf courses within 10 minutes. And this criticism comes from a Razorback fan and avid golfer as well.

For those who have been to Central Park in New York, you realize what potential a space like War Memorial Park has. I'm not suggesting that the two are on the same level or ever will be, but with proper funding, WMP does have great potential and could be a meaningful gathering place and added sense of community for citizens of LR.

Now that Ray Winder is vacant and with planned improvements to the Zoo, not to mention the revitilization of Mid-Town, I think it just makes sense to make this a topic of public conversation. Is this even in the minds of city officials?

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This may belong in the Mid Town thread. If so, I apologize, but I thought it was worthy of it's own topic.

Worthy of its own thread.

Now that Ray Winder is vacant and with planned improvements to the Zoo, not to mention the revitilization of Mid-Town, I think it just makes sense to make this a topic of public conversation. Is this even in the minds of city officials?

Non-profit aims to keep Ray Winder open as ballpark

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I don't know why some consider Ray Winder to be a national treasure like Wrigley or Fenway. It's an old minor league ball park. There's no significant historical importance associated with it. There are enough billboards on it to line I-40 from LR to Memphis. High Schools and Colleges have done just fine without use of the park for the last 70 years, and even if they did use it, it would only be for 3 or 4 months out of the year. More importantly, it's an eye sore in an increasingly important part of LR. Just my opinion.

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I agree with cru.

War Memorial Park needs a revamp quite badly. There is a consultant doing a study and making recommendations for the park. He's apparently the same person who designed St Louis' Forest Park, which is a real jewel.

I agree, the golf course is 2nd rate and there are other good municipal courses in town. Hindman's OK but Rebsamen which just expanded to 27 holes is a stellar public course and Burns Park has two good courses in NLR. If another is built it really should be out in West LR somewhere anyway. I'd just as well see the golf course shut down or changed from 18 to 9 holes.

I saw a "zoo master plan" sketch that had the zoo extending north of the stadium along Markham and added significant land. There's also talk about the zoo using the land where Ray Winder sits.

I'm all about preserving history but Ray Winder is not an attractive structure. I like the wooden seats but the rickety tin, concrete blocks, and chain link doesn't need preservation. Not far away, Curran-Conway is just as historical (Brooks Robinson played there) and is more attractive and could serve any functions we see for Ray Winder.

I'd like to see an expanded zoo, more playgrounds, and fountains, etc in the park. One day the stadium will probably be retired as well and that could add to the park's green space. A new tennis facility that's larger and nicer than the current one would be nice.

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I have to agree. Although it is one of the oldest ballparks in the country, it's down right ugly. Especially from 630. The billboards are quite the eyesore. :shok: Expansion of the zoo has to be a priority IMO. Where did you find the zoo's master plan?

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I have to agree. Although it is one of the oldest ballparks in the country, it's down right ugly. Especially from 630. The billboards are quite the eyesore. :shok: Expansion of the zoo has to be a priority IMO. Where did you find the zoo's master plan?

I saw a poster of it. It's not online, unfortunately.

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Ray Winder has outlived its usefulness. Little Rock doesn't need another BB field. UALR has Curren Conway, Lamar Porter needs a little work but it is truly historic ( its actually where Brooks Robinson played ) and now LRCHS has a BB field. A previous post pointed out that a private corporation owns Ray Winder and the state owns the land under it. Where does the state's land end and the city's start? I can't see how the corporation that owns Ray Winder could keep it open without the Travelers. Where would the money come from? I suspect that if they try that at some point they'll be begging for someone to take it off their hands.

Is the War Memorial Golf Course self sufficient? My guess is that it's not. But even so it does generate some income. If it was closed and those funds eliminated how would the city pay to convert it to a park and then maintain it?

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Ray Winder has outlived its usefulness. Little Rock doesn't need another BB field. UALR has Curren Conway, Lamar Porter needs a little work but it is truly historic ( its actually where Brooks Robinson played ) and now LRCHS has a BB field. A previous post pointed out that a private corporation owns Ray Winder and the state owns the land under it. Where does the state's land end and the city's start? I can't see how the corporation that owns Ray Winder could keep it open without the Travelers. Where would the money come from? I suspect that if they try that at some point they'll be begging for someone to take it off their hands.

Is the War Memorial Golf Course self sufficient? My guess is that it's not. But even so it does generate some income. If it was closed and those funds eliminated how would the city pay to convert it to a park and then maintain it?

If I had to pick which ballpark to spend money on it would be Lamar Porter.

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Ray Winder has outlived its usefulness. Little Rock doesn't need another BB field. UALR has Curren Conway, Lamar Porter needs a little work but it is truly historic ( its actually where Brooks Robinson played ) and now LRCHS has a BB field. A previous post pointed out that a private corporation owns Ray Winder and the state owns the land under it. Where does the state's land end and the city's start? I can't see how the corporation that owns Ray Winder could keep it open without the Travelers. Where would the money come from? I suspect that if they try that at some point they'll be begging for someone to take it off their hands.

Is the War Memorial Golf Course self sufficient? My guess is that it's not. But even so it does generate some income. If it was closed and those funds eliminated how would the city pay to convert it to a park and then maintain it?

When I said Curran-Conway I meant Lamar Porter. There's a nice old elementary school over there by it. The neighborhood around it has a lot of potential but that area West of Woodrow and East of UAMS between I-630 and Markham is sketchy because it's all in the shadow of UAMS and falls into future expansion plans of the campus. In fact, most of the houses close to campus are already owned by UAMS and rented out. I just hope they don't mess with Lamar Porter, that's a cool old park.

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When I said Curran-Conway I meant Lamar Porter. There's a nice old elementary school over there by it. The neighborhood around it has a lot of potential but that area West of Woodrow and East of UAMS between I-630 and Markham is sketchy because it's all in the shadow of UAMS and falls into future expansion plans of the campus. In fact, most of the houses close to campus are already owned by UAMS and rented out. I just hope they don't mess with Lamar Porter, that's a cool old park.

There's an apartment building on the SE edge of the UAMS campus with a for sale sign. It's right at the intersection of Cedar and 630. Why doesn't the Med school buy this property?

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Is the War Memorial Golf Course self sufficient? My guess is that it's not. But even so it does generate some income. If it was closed and those funds eliminated how would the city pay to convert it to a park and then maintain it?

If the city really wants to do it right, I think private donations would need to make up a significant portion of the total cost <cough> Stephens. If the park is well designed and gains popularity throughout the community, I could see a scenario where a small not for profit organization could sprout up and take responsibility for maintaining the park.

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When I said Curran-Conway I meant Lamar Porter. There's a nice old elementary school over there by it. The neighborhood around it has a lot of potential but that area West of Woodrow and East of UAMS between I-630 and Markham is sketchy because it's all in the shadow of UAMS and falls into future expansion plans of the campus. In fact, most of the houses close to campus are already owned by UAMS and rented out. I just hope they don't mess with Lamar Porter, that's a cool old park.

UAMS' expansion plans no longer call for developing east. The future expansion is to the west now that a working arrangment has been made between state agencies to allow the campus to expand beyond the former border of Hooper drive. The two giant tower cranes are testament to that growth to the west.

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I don't know why some consider Ray Winder to be a national treasure like Wrigley or Fenway. It's an old minor league ball park. There's no significant historical importance associated with it. There are enough billboards on it to line I-40 from LR to Memphis. High Schools and Colleges have done just fine without use of the park for the last 70 years, and even if they did use it, it would only be for 3 or 4 months out of the year. More importantly, it's an eye sore in an increasingly important part of LR. Just my opinion.

I'm a huge proponent of historic preservation and restoration. However, this typically implies current, or more often original value in architectural quality, craft or heritage. Ray Winder only has heritage as a quality as it never had any architectural value. Unbeknownst to many, it was not ever stripped of any original architectural features - it just never had any. As so often seems to happen in Arkansas, the original design features so often associated with great ballparks such as the brick colonade, etc. as indicated on the original drawings, was never built.

So, we end up with a crappy stadium from the get-go with 80 years thrown in for good measure. I say good riddance to the vinyl siding, T-111 plywood paneling, stall-less toilets, chain-link gates, etc. I mean, the thing isn't even air-conditioned. :D

Seriously, from a "heritage" standpoint, I'll miss the old place as I've got a lot of great memories there. Time to move on. Here's to hoping that the new ballpark develops its own heritage.

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I'm a huge proponent of historic preservation and restoration. However, this typically implies current, or more often original value in architectural quality, craft or heritage. Ray Winder only has heritage as a quality as it never had any architectural value. Unbeknownst to many, it was not ever stripped of any original architectural features - it just never had any. As so often seems to happen in Arkansas, the original design features so often associated with great ballparks such as the brick colonade, etc. as indicated on the original drawings, was never built.

So, we end up with a crappy stadium from the get-go with 80 years thrown in for good measure. I say good riddance to the vinyl siding, T-111 plywood paneling, stall-less toilets, chain-link gates, etc. I mean, the thing isn't even air-conditioned. :D

Seriously, from a "heritage" standpoint, I'll miss the old place as I've got a lot of great memories there. Time to move on. Here's to hoping that the new ballpark develops its own heritage.

Amen. :cry:

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I was told by a zoo worker that the portion of the golf course that runs along Zoo drive and Fair Park is actually owned by the zoo.

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UAMS' expansion plans no longer call for developing east. The future expansion is to the west now that a working arrangment has been made between state agencies to allow the campus to expand beyond the former border of Hooper drive. The two giant tower cranes are testament to that growth to the west.

I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. The VA and State Hospital own all of that land save a small area near Fisher Armory where UAMS has a distribution facility. UAMS made an agreement with the state hospital that allowed it to build the new psychiatric facility on ASH land, though the hospital will be on land that already belonged to UAMS (parking lots and the dormitory). ASH also let UAMS expand across Hooper to build the dormitories because there was no other choice. For UAMS to expand further West would mean building a new state hospital elsewhere, which I am unaware of.

The new DHHS building they are working on is proof of this. It would also sit where future westward expansion would need to occur.

If the city really wants to do it right, I think private donations would need to make up a significant portion of the total cost <cough> Stephens. If the park is well designed and gains popularity throughout the community, I could see a scenario where a small not for profit organization could sprout up and take responsibility for maintaining the park.

I'd like to see a big donor, Stephens or not, get behind the zoo and make it first class and in return have the zoo named after them. The LR Zoo isn't blessed with community support the way many others are. The Arkansas Arts Center is more of a beneficiary of community philanthropy.

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I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. The VA and State Hospital own all of that land save a small area near Fisher Armory where UAMS has a distribution facility. UAMS made an agreement with the state hospital that allowed it to build the new psychiatric facility on ASH land, though the hospital will be on land that already belonged to UAMS (parking lots and the dormitory). ASH also let UAMS expand across Hooper to build the dormitories because there was no other choice. For UAMS to expand further West would mean building a new state hospital elsewhere, which I am unaware of.

The new DHHS building they are working on is proof of this. It would also sit where future westward expansion would need to occur.

I'd like to see a big donor, Stephens or not, get behind the zoo and make it first class and in return have the zoo named after them. The LR Zoo isn't blessed with community support the way many others are. The Arkansas Arts Center is more of a beneficiary of community philanthropy.

I have worked at UAMS for 18+ years and from my understanding, the plan is now for westward expansion and the building of a new State Hospital which is badly needed.

http://www.uams.edu/growing/history/

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I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. The VA and State Hospital own all of that land save a small area near Fisher Armory where UAMS has a distribution facility. UAMS made an agreement with the state hospital that allowed it to build the new psychiatric facility on ASH land, though the hospital will be on land that already belonged to UAMS (parking lots and the dormitory). ASH also let UAMS expand across Hooper to build the dormitories because there was no other choice. For UAMS to expand further West would mean building a new state hospital elsewhere, which I am unaware of.

The new DHHS building they are working on is proof of this. It would also sit where future westward expansion would need to occur.

I'd like to see a big donor, Stephens or not, get behind the zoo and make it first class and in return have the zoo named after them. The LR Zoo isn't blessed with community support the way many others are. The Arkansas Arts Center is more of a beneficiary of community philanthropy.

I have worked at UAMS for 18+ years and from my understanding, the plan is now for westward expansion and the building of a new State Hospital which is badly needed.

http://www.uams.edu/growing/history/

Let's just say that I am in the know, and I concur with diatom. The master plan does not call for any expansion east of Pine. Also, its no secret that eventually, UAMS will likely take over ASH operations, which will provide access to all of the land to the west. Know that the density of this area west of Hooper is very light compared to the existing campus or to a typical urban development. There is plenty of room for future expansion, though that will be mitigated for quite some time now that the $200M expansion is under construction.

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I have worked at UAMS for 18+ years and from my understanding, the plan is now for westward expansion and the building of a new State Hospital which is badly needed.

http://www.uams.edu/growing/history/

I was at UAMS 9 years before leaving a little over a year ago. The hospital is being built where it is now because it has to be. It has to adjoin the Ward Tower, which is essentially new. There was a plan at one point to build the new hospital across Hooper where the State Hospital is now but it was nixed because ASH wouldn't agree to move. UAMS doctors help run ASH now but it won't "take over" ASH which is why UAMS is building its own Psychiatry Institute as well as opening psychiatric wards. Currently there is no psych unit at UAMS and patients have to shipped to ASH.

Let's just say that I am in the know, and I concur with diatom. The master plan does not call for any expansion east of Pine. Also, its no secret that eventually, UAMS will likely take over ASH operations, which will provide access to all of the land to the west. Know that the density of this area west of Hooper is very light compared to the existing campus or to a typical urban development. There is plenty of room for future expansion, though that will be mitigated for quite some time now that the $200M expansion is under construction.

The campus does extend all the way to Pine, though, with Arkansas Bioventures. There isn't land west of Hooper for future expansion, really. The ACRC expansion and developments in the near future will be on the current campus without really moving outside its boundaries but eventually when additional lab space is needed it will have to be built on the Eastern part of campus bear Biomed 1 and 2 and the Stephens Center and Reynolds Center. I don't think the funds will be there for that sort of expansion for a long time.

Anyone have a link to the new DHHS building drawings? It's very impressive-looking.

The new ADH laboratory building is very nice as well.

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I was at UAMS 9 years before leaving a little over a year ago. The hospital is being built where it is now because it has to be. It has to adjoin the Ward Tower, which is essentially new. There was a plan at one point to build the new hospital across Hooper where the State Hospital is now but it was nixed because ASH wouldn't agree to move. UAMS doctors help run ASH now but it won't "take over" ASH which is why UAMS is building its own Psychiatry Institute as well as opening psychiatric wards. Currently there is no psych unit at UAMS and patients have to shipped to ASH.

The campus does extend all the way to Pine, though, with Arkansas Bioventures. There isn't land west of Hooper for future expansion, really. The ACRC expansion and developments in the near future will be on the current campus without really moving outside its boundaries but eventually when additional lab space is needed it will have to be built on the Eastern part of campus bear Biomed 1 and 2 and the Stephens Center and Reynolds Center. I don't think the funds will be there for that sort of expansion for a long time.

Anyone have a link to the new DHHS building drawings? It's very impressive-looking.

The new ADH laboratory building is very nice as well.

What DHHS building are you referring to?

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What DHHS building are you referring to?

They're currently excavating the site. It's on Palm just south of Markham. If you drive by the site there's a large drawing of the building posted. I'm assuming it's the new DHHS HQs.

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They're currently excavating the site. It's on Palm just south of Markham. If you drive by the site there's a large drawing of the building posted. I'm assuming it's the new DHHS HQs.

No, that's the new Arkansas State Hospital that UAMS is building in exchange for property west of Hooper.

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No, that's the new Arkansas State Hospital that UAMS is building in exchange for property west of Hooper.

It says "DHHS" on it but ASH is under DHHS. If that's the new hospital I'm a bit surprised. It sure doesn't look like one.

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It says "DHHS" on it but ASH is under DHHS. If that's the new hospital I'm a bit surprised. It sure doesn't look like one.

That's the state hospital....they wanted it all one story with a residential archetype. The scale of it makes it a bit unusual. DHHS headquarters are downtown on Main.

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That's the state hospital....they wanted it all one story with a residential archetype. The scale of it makes it a bit unusual. DHHS headquarters are downtown on Main.

They usually make long-term psychiatric facilities one story so they can have access to outdoor recreational areas, thus the areas with the curved in fences you see at multiple pods of ASH.

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