The Atlanta City Council is considering a measure that would rename the Chastain Park Conservancy’s building for Ray Mock, a co-founder of the group who recently died.
Mock was the first employee of the Chastain Park Conservancy, a nonprofit that supports the Buckhead park, and served as its director of operations, overseeing the grounds since 2003. Mock, a lifelong Buckhead resident, died in July at the age of 66.
He led the effort to refurbish the previously dilapidated building, a Quonset hut – a World War II-era prefabricated steel structure – that now serves as the conservancy’s office.
District 8 City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit, who founded the conservancy and served as its first president, sponsored the measure.
“Ray was an integral part of Chastain Park’s success over the last 15 years,” Matzigkeit said in a written statement. “His knowledge of the park’s history, his outreach program to youth in the community and his perpetual enthusiasm for nature and preservation efforts are just part of his legacy. We are honored to name the Quonset hut after him and his family.”
Mock was remembered after his death for his work with youth who needed to do required community service and for his effort to revitalize the park.
The ordinance was introduced Oct. 1 and said Mock was “the heart and soul of the organization.”
The ordinance will not be voted on by the City Council until it is reviewed by NPU-A at its Nov. 6 meeting, said Jim Elgar, Matzigkeit’s policy advisor, in an email.
The Chastain Park Conservancy would cover the cost and is still reviewing the options for the type of plaque, wording and placement, Elgar said.
Rosa McHugh, the executive director of the conservancy, confirmed that they are involved in the proposal and said they are “honored” to have city support to rename the hut.
“It is our goal to make this site a community gathering space for people to enjoy the beauty of the park, and it seems fitting that the site would be named after Ray who so loved this property,” McHugh said.
The hut originally served as the operations headquarters for the construction of Chastain Park in the 1940s, according to the conservancy website. It sat vacant and neglected for years until the conservancy was founded in 2003 and Mock began leading its renovation. It is now surrounded by gardens and pavilions, the website said.
Details are still being worked out for an event to celebrate the renaming, Elgar said.