The site of a former public school and one of Atlanta’s oldest family cemeteries is one step closer to becoming the 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, according to a press release from Livable Buckhead, which applied to Park Pride for the visioning grant and spearheads PATH400.
Loridans Park is located near Loridans Drive and Ga. 400.
Park Pride will now engage the local community in developing a master plan for the five-acre park, according to the release.
A 22-member steering committee has been formed to guide the planning process. It includes community residents and representatives of nearby Sarah Smith Elementary, NPU-B, Buckhead Heritage Society and the Buckhead Garden Club. Atlanta City Councilmember Howard Shook, who helped the city acquire the land, is also a member of the steering committee, the release said.
“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. We look forward to working with the Buckhead community on a plan that will meet the needs of the neighborhood and address concerns,” said Andrew White, the director of park visioning at Park Pride, in the release.
Starling previously said the Atlanta History Center and the Buckhead Heritage Society may help restore the Lowery-Stephens Cemetery and install some kind of interpretive history exhibit.
Livable Buckhead. 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, according to the release.
“We’re really excited to have Park Pride do this work,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead, in the release. “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.”