Roanoke, VA – The green space located at 106 Franklin Road, S.E., in downtown Roanoke has remained vacant for many years. That is about to change. The city announced today its plans to develop the space and dedicate it in honor of former Governor Linwood Holton. City officials attended a celebratory tree planting ceremony this morning.
“Our goal is to create parks and plazas that are inclusive, attractive, and community-based,” said Donnie Underwood, Parks and Greenways Planner for Roanoke Parks and Recreation. “Holton Plaza will be a special urban retreat for downtown workers and residents and also a way for our community to recognize a prominent leader in the Commonwealth.”
“Throughout his career, Governor Holton had a positive impact on the lives of many Virginians,” said Roanoke City Councilman Bill Bestpitch. “While he was in office, he brought more African Americans and women into state government, provided the first funds in Virginia for community mental health centers, and helped reduce pollution in many rivers and streams in Virginia, among many other things.”
Design plans for Holton Plaza were also displayed at the announcement. The plaza’s edges will be pulled back from sidewalks to make room for food carts and food trucks. Larger shade trees will enclose the plaza near main sidewalks. Dogwoods, one of Holton’s favorite trees, and seat walls engraved with notable quotes from Holton’s inaugural address, will line the plaza’s perimeter. In addition, blooming Crepe Myrtle trees will surround a central island, where visitors will find a pedestal and plaques highlighting milestones in Holton’s life.
“Holton Plaza will enhance the pedestrian experience between City Market Square and Elmwood Park,” commented Underwood.
Construction of Holton Plaza is planned to begin in late spring of 2017.
For more information, please contact Whitney Slightham, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Roanoke Parks and Recreation, at 540-853-5847 or [email protected].