Lincoln Park Falls Short Of Being Historic District, State Official Says; Bailey Says Road To Be 2 Lane, Not Impact Park

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A state preservation official said Tuesday night that an initial examination of Lincoln Park shows it does not appear to qualify for National Register of Historic Places designation.

Claudette Stager, state assistant director for Federal Programs, said the analysis was made after someone submitted documents relating to the historic black neighborhood and park by Erlanger Hospital.

No one at a meeting of Lincoln Park residents knew who had submitted the papers.

Ms. Stager said, despite the preliminary ruling, it is still possible for someone to file a formal application. But she said it is a lengthy, complicated process and the effort "could be quickly shot down."

At the meeting at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, city Transportation Director Blythe Bailey said a road at the current end of Central Avenue by Lincoln Park would be no wider than one lane in each direction.

He said it would benefit the community and the neighborhood alike, giving a direct connection to Amnicola Highway.

Residents worried that the road could later be increased to four lanes. Lance Perrin, community organizer, said any new road held a number of drawbacks for Lincoln Park residents.

He said over the years the connection had been visualized as a major route coming up from Georgia to the Tennessee River.

Mr. Bailey said, "A good road is what we intend to build."

He said it was still too early to say exactly where it will go. He said 16 different routes had been studied. He said studies are still underway on environmental, archaeological and historical.

Mr. Bailey said as part of the study a 93-page study of Lincoln Park was conducted.

Ms. Stager said much of the historic character of Lincoln Park has been lost.

However, those at the meeting, including County Attorney Rheubin Taylor, said most of the old park is still there. They said Erlanger had constructed a couple of buildings at one end. They said the two ballfields and the swimming pool and tennis courts are intact as well as the entry arch.

They said the old Negro League played at the site with such stars as Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige.

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