Dewey Park Project Updates

Dewey Park Project Update 



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Land Survey Findings

BPRW has completed a thorough land survey of the Dewey Park parcel and the contiguous properties. The survey confirms that much of what appears as ‘park’ on the surface is actually part of the Archibald, Elmwood, Spring and Walnut Streets rights-of-way.

Not only are the boundaries now clear, but many other details, both historical and infrastructural, were uncovered. For instance, if we move forward with making the Spring St. “annex” right-of-way part of the park, all buried utilities will need to have permanent easements created, so that in the future, they may be excavated for repairs or replacements.  While the utilities will not affect our pursuit of officially adding the section of Spring Street to the park parcel, their existence will affect what may be placed on the surface above them in the long-term.  

Dewey Park Expansion Possibilities

BPRW has met with Department of Public Works staff, including the City Engineer, to discuss how to advance enlarging the park through the acquisition of the short section of Spring Street right-of-way. We are pleased to report that DPW is open to pursuing this goal.  We will need to balance the park goals with the needs and standards for sidewalks, crosswalks and curb cuts that surround and bisect the park. For example, the narrow ‘apron’-like concrete slabs that currently surround the park do not meet minimum Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for sidewalk width. Changes to contemplate include adding a full-width sidewalk along the north boundary of the park would create a continuous accessible route along the southern edge of Archibald St. and make the bus stop accessible for all.  

Next Steps

BPRW’s next step for advancing the park expansion is to work with the City Attorney’s office, and potentially with a surveyor or real estate consultant, on how best to begin negotiating and securing the various easement agreements with utilities, etc.  

Meanwhile, BPRW staff are working on updating the sign at the park. The deed research involved in the survey led to more questions about the history of the park that will be represented on the sign. Reviews of old city maps revealed that the parcel which is now occupied by Integrated Arts Academy, was once connected to the Dewey Park parcel. When Archibald Street was constructed the triangle ‘cut’ to the shape it is today. 

These small nuances and stories of the park by community history buffs (especially the neighborhood’s infamous crossing guard who looks over Dewey Park daily this time of year) have ignited our curiosity in Dewey Park. Our team has been digging into archives and historical accounts of the late 1800s to uncover the story of the park, and in turn, the surrounding neighborhood. Our sleuthing is not over yet, but we are getting closer to finding many pieces in the park’s puzzle.  

These stories bode well in timing as we craft an update for the sign at Dewey Park that will start to tell this story. However, as some records are unclear (when did Dewey Park actually become a park, for example) our work is not yet complete!  

Stay tuned for more updates and a timeframe for the sign and annex. 


Interlace Mural Refresh


Burlington/Brooklyn artist Abby Manock recently returned to Dewey Park in the city’s Old North End to refresh Interlace  the pavement mural she completed in 2014 on Spring Street, adjacent to the park.

Originally submitted to the Department of Public Works (DPW) by neighbors of the park, the street closure set the stage for the ‘Dewey Annex’ and with that, the colorful and beautiful pavement treatment (that includes embedded reflective glass beads) which provides a bold statement about streets as public spaces.

Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront has recently completed a detailed survey of the park and the adjacent street rights of way, and is discussing potential scenarios with DPW for the future of Spring Street.
Stay tuned for more project updates!

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