19th Street Magazine January 2020
The next step in the revitalization of Old Town is underway as construction of Old Town Park is set to begin.
The new, two-acre park will be at 132 E Main St. near the intersection of Main and the railroad tracks.
The city expects construction to begin in late January or early February, said Kahley Gilbert, project grants manager. She added the goal is to have the park open by next fall.
A committee was created from local stakeholders and business owners in the Old Town area. A few city council members also contributed to the park planning process. The committee’s objective was to design a park that reflects Moore’s history.
Because Old Town is the oldest part of the community, the park project provided a good opportunity to reflect that history, Gilbert said.
As a display of some of this history, Old Town Park will feature a new train depot, modeled after the original one built on the same site more than 100 years ago.
The train depot will include an artist’s space, where an artist-in-residence will be on hand to engage with the community and carry out programs. The city will switch out different artists about once a year.
When the depot opens, the first artist-in-residence will be a photographer, Maria Chaverri of Oklahoma City. Under Moore’s Artist in Residence program, Chaverri and other subsequent artists-in-residence will be involved with Old Town events that occur throughout the year. The other half of the depot will be used as a coffee shop or small café.
“I would say that this is more of an adult type park,” said Gilbert, who has been part of the park planning process for the last two years. “There’s not going to be a playground or a splash pad or anything like that. It’s going to be a gathering place. There are not a lot of patios here in Moore, so we’ll have a nice landscape plaza that anybody can come in with their pets or whatever and enjoy the weather outside. It’s a hangout type of park.”
Park construction will be funded through the 2016 Continuing Our Success, voter-approved, quarter-cent sales tax. As of December, a cost estimate for the project was not available, Gilbert said. “I think it just shows where the city is at,” Gilbert said.
“We’re one of the fastest growing communities in the metro area if not the entire state, so I think it just shows how fast our city is growing and that we’re trying to expand different sorts of experiences for our residents.” –19SM Construction Nears for Old Town Park