Thomas Polk Park

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Thomas Polk Park
Thomas Polk Park from Above.gif
Thomas Polk Park from Above
Thomas Polk Park
Type Urban park
Location Charlotte, North Carolina
Coordinates 35°13′38″N80°50′37″W / 35.22728°N 80.84355°W / 35.22728; -80.84355 Coordinates: 35°13′38″N80°50′37″W / 35.22728°N 80.84355°W / 35.22728; -80.84355
Area1,510 square yards (1,260 m2)
Created1991 (1991) [1]
Designer Angela Danadjieva [1]
Etymology Thomas Polk
Owned byCity of Charlotte
Operated byCharlotte Center City Partners [1]
Public transit access BSicon TRAM1.svg Tryon Street

Thomas Polk Park is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, and comprises the west quadrant of Independence Square, at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets. Named for Thomas Polk, a founding father of Charlotte and was among the residents and officials of Mecklenburg County who drafted and adopted the Mecklenburg Resolves. [2]



Appointed by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission, in 1993 Danadjieva & Koenig Associates designed the award - winning Thomas Polk Park - the main open space of the city's business district. The $1.2 million project celebrates Charlotte's historic location, the Square, the site of Native American crossroads, and The Declaration of Independence. The park's fountains, plantings and pavings lead to the Square at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets. [3] [4]

Design and features

Park features a 30-foot (9.1 m) cascading waterfall fountain. Thomas Polk Park.jpg
Park features a 30-foot (9.1 m) cascading waterfall fountain.

The park was designed with strong diagonal lines crossing the intersection to reinforce the streets grid. Designed as a respite for Uptown workers to enjoy a break in their day and a refreshment amongst lush plantings and a 30-foot (9.1 m) cascading waterfall. The park incorporates: Relief map in bronze and granite shows Charlotte in 1780, at the Battle of Charlotte. Red granite in various shades reflects the Piedmont's distinctive red clay. Patterns inspired by Indian motifs connect the four corners and recall Trade and Tryon as Indian paths. Granite pillars 25 feet (7.6 m) high act as gateways and, with carved dates and figures, memorialize historic events.

Water features tie the other three corners to Plaza Park. Markers emphasize historic themes on each corner: gold mining, commerce, cotton and textiles. Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the Battle of Charlotte are the themes at Independence Center.

Trees and water features edge the park, with low granite ledges for sitting. Open area becomes a stage for musical performances and other events. Raised plaza offers seating. Cascade spills over granite ledges 30 feet (9.1 m) high. Carved reliefs of historic figures, such as Revolutionary War Gen. Nathaniel Greene, are behind the water. Mini-museum beneath the cascade has exhibits on historical subjects such as gold mining, along with an information booth and Ticketron outlet. [3]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Thomas Polk Park Renovation" (PDF). Charlotte Center City Partners. April 8, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  2. "Thomas Polk Park Historical Marker". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  3. 1 2 "A PLACE AT THE HEART A GRAND VISION FOR PLAZA PARK". August 22, 1987 via Charlotte Observer (NC) (Published as Charlotte Observer, The (NC)).
  4. "Angela Danadjieva". The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Retrieved January 11, 2017.