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Raleigh creates unique project

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N.C. Museum Of Art Unveils Plans For First-Of-Its Kind Park

Officials Hope Park Becomes Gathering Place, Cultural Gem

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POSTED: 8:56 a.m. EDT October 8, 2003

UPDATED: 10:31 a.m. EDT October 8, 2003

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A new park taking shape in Raleigh could become a major tourist attraction.

The North Carolina Museum of Art unveiled detailed plans for expanding its grounds Tuesday. The highlight is a 164-acre park, which will be the first of its kind in the country.

Thirty years ago when the state chose the spot for the North Carolina Museum of Art, the dream was to surround it with acres of natural beauty mixed with a few un-natural creations.

Kelly Branson hikes the existing 1-mile art-park trail and said she cannot wait to explore all the paved and unpaved trails that will wind through land where the old Polk Youth Prison once stood.

"I'm excited about everything that's going on here," Branson said. "I've never seen anything like this anywhere. It's just fantastic. During the day it's beautiful and at night, with the rings lit, it's gorgeous," she said.

This will be the only art park in the country tied in with a major art museum. Museum director Larry Wheeler said the few sculptures already in place are just a taste of what is to come.

This will be the only art park in the country tied in with a major art museum. Museum director Larry Wheeler said the few sculptures already in place are just a taste of what is to come.

"The types of projects that we will have in this park are going to be commissions of international artists who use the land to make their art," he said.

Plans also call for a pedestrian bridge across the beltline, connecting the land to the city greenway and regional bike-trail systems.

"So education, the arts, recreation, transportation will all come together all around us," Wheeler said.

North Carolina State University's College of Natural Resources will work with the museum as an environmental manager of the park. The result could be a unique gathering place and cultural gem.

"It really will be a magnet for all kinds of people and I just think it's incredible," Branson said.

The museum's park is expected to take a year and a half to complete.

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Raleigh is lucky to have a lot of things! Its all about advertisement and the fact that it has a lot of untapped entertainment resources that other do not know about!

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I agree with PompeyJohnson... Raleigh has a lot of things, but most of them are poorly advertised, if at all. Some day the city will have to create an one-stop source of information because as is, there are several agencies working independently, and LOTS of work gets duplicated without results.

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This is an excellent opportunity for Raleigh. It also sound like the kind of thing Winston-Salem would do. But the size of this planned arts park is truely amazing. Its sure to grab the attention of well known artist around the nation and maybe even the world.

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Wow! a world reknown art park! A greenway full of sculptures....If only it was Downtown! : )

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Wow! a world reknown art park! A greenway full of sculptures....If only it was Downtown! : )

Like the Art Sculpture park and greenway in downtown Winston-Salem....Raleigh has some good things going for it, but they always seem to be outside of downtown...hopefully this will change.

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i forget the exact story behind it but I know that there is a replica of that at the corner of Randolph and Wendover Rd in Charlotte.

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