CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — An organization is voicing its displeasure over the Charlotte City Council’s decision to revamp and rename an uptown park. 

The Washington, D.C.-based Cultural Landscape Foundation is lamenting that Thomas Polk Park will be demolished to make way for the new-look Hugh McColl Jr. Park, named for the former Bank of America CEO. 

At the March 13 city council meeting, Charlotte City Center Partners called the 1/3-acre park at the southwest corner of Trade and Tryon streets “obsolete.” The city-owned park opened in 1991, with its most robust feature a 30-foot fountain on a rock wall.   

The park was designed by architect Angela Danadjieva, and was designated a Landslide Nationally Significant Threatened Landscape by TCLF. The organization says that it “educates and engages the public to make our shared landscape heritage more visible, identify its value, and empower its stewards.”

“The Council’s rationale makes no sense,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF’s president and CEO, in a statement. “It’s the equivalent of starving a patient of needed medical care, and then blaming the patient for getting sicker. To make matters worse, the city, whose management negligence resulted in the park’s current condition, would be responsible for maintaining the new park. 

“We believe Thomas Polk Park is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.” 

City Center Partners said the Hugh McColl Park Coalition is well on its way to a $10 million fundraising goal to pay for the rehabilitation. The city’s contribution to the project would be the demolition of the park at an estimated cost of $350,000.