DIX PARK MASTER PLAN
Raleigh, NC (2018–2019)
The former Dorothea Dix Hospital campus, a 308-acre site only a 25-minute walk from the North Carolina State Capitol in downtown Raleigh, will be transformed into Dorothea Dix Park. MVVA, as team leader and the project’s landscape planner, has worked with members of the Raleigh community as well as City and Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy leaders in the creation of the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan, which was approved by the Raleigh City Council in February 2019.

The current site has rolling topography, generous size and significant historic resources, but many features are a deterrent to park use including limited entrances leading to an abundance of roadways, over 80 buildings of varied condition, a former landfill and the degraded stream corridor of the Rocky Branch. A comprehensive program of change is necessary to improve the closed-off campus and create an immersive park experience, activated by nature, history, the arts and community. The Master Plan lays out a bold vision of transformation, grounded in both the opportunities and the challenges of the physical site as it exists today. The new park will preserve the site’s historic features and core character as it becomes an essential public space in the everyday life of the Raleigh community and welcomes visitors from across the state and around the world.

In the spirit of its namesake, Dorothea Dix Park will support community well-being through expanded access to natural environments, the recovery of community histories, and the creation of new spaces for recreation and cultural events. As planning moves into implementation, the Core Principles identified by the Master Plan to “Open Up and Connect,” “Build From What Is There,” and “Offer Something for Everyone” will guide and shape every step of the site’s ongoing evolution.
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