Published on June 5th, 2018 |


Park Pride sets Loridans Park first public visioning session for June 12

By John Schaffner

The site of a former public school and one of Atlanta’s oldest family cemeteries—where Loridans Drive crosses Ga. 400—is one step closer to becoming North Buckhead’s newest park along PATH400.

Park Pride has selected the site of the Lowery-Stevens Cemetery and the former home of D.F. McClatchey Elementary School—now known as Loridans Park—for its 2018 park visioning program and has set the date of June 12 for the first meeting to gather public input.

This is a key step in developing a master plan for the park, to reclaim the unused parcel for much-needed public greenspace in Buckhead. The June 12 meeting takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. James United Methodist Church, at 4400 Peachtree Dunwoody Road.

Two additional public meetings will take place at the same time and location on July 12 and Sept. 11. The public can also provide input via a survey on the Park Pride website

Livable Buckhead, which applied to Park Pride for the Loridans Park visioning grant, worked with the city of Atlanta Parks Department and Atlanta Public Schools to acquire the school parcel in 2016. The site is being combined with the adjacent cemetery, which had previously been acquired by the City from Fulton County. The end result is a five-acre site that offers a an opportunity to uncover a piece of local history and bring it to life within the community.

“We’re really excited to have Park Pride do this work,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead. “As a neutral party with extensive visioning expertise they will be able to balance the various needs of the neighborhood. Their leadership will be invaluable and I have every confidence that they will bring out the best in this process.”

A 22-member steering committee has been formed that includes community residents and representatives of nearby Sarah Smith Elementary, NPU-B, Buckhead Heritage and the Buckhead Garden Club. Atlanta City Councilmember Howard Shook, who was instrumental in acquiring the land, is also a member of the steering committee.

“Each year Park Pride selects two parks in the City of Atlanta for visioning through an application process,” said Andrew White, director of Park Visioning at Park Pride. “The many layers of history on this site coupled with the strong community interest in how the park is developed made Loridans Park a great candidate for the community visioning process.”

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