Pic of the Week

Raleigh's first parklet at Salisbury and Hargett Street.

Raleigh’s first parklet at Salisbury and Hargett Street opened last week during the city’s Wide Open Bluegrass, an event that was part of the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. They opened it up with live music and now the parklet is open for use.

Also, check out this fun video of the team behind the parklet putting it together. Congratulations to all of them and thank you for bringing something unique to downtown Raleigh!

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23 Comments

  1. I don’t like the wall/barrier, not much character but this is a good start (hopefully the wall facing traffic is decorative/painted with art).
    More parklet’s needed downtown. Parking spaces should not be missed, more than enough parking decks in downtown Raleigh (all that I talk with agree, more than enough decks to accommodate downtown parking).

  2. I agree with Squirrelchat. It’s a great idea and effort but with amateurish design and execution. These parklets would be a terrific platform for new designers partnering with local contractors, fabricators and suppliers. When I walked by this one, I was like “meh”.

  3. I thought I heard they raised $16K for this. Noway that is $16K
    What is it with the bails of straw and grass?

    That wall/barrier looks like a construction zone wall (only shorter).

    Wow, there was no thought put into this. This looks like the work of JDavis Architects.

    Time for a Re-Do of the Parklet

  4. This parklet is so much nicer than the Chicago and Boston examples. It shows more thought and creativity than simply putting together an al fresco dining space, which is really all that those examples in Chicago and Boston look like and which you can find in front of scores of city center dining establishments in major cities. Raleigh’s first parklet also has a Southern feel and Southern charm to it. That would probably turn off any Northern transplants that want to assimilate Raleigh into a New England city, but it fits here.

    I just hope the downtown-residing dog walkers don’t treat this patch of grass as a dog park.

  5. Glad to finally see some parklets popping up, but I agree that the design here kind of missed the mark. Again, not trying to be overly critical because at least someone took the first step and made a parklet, but you’d hope the next few have a little function mixed in with the form. Parklets are really cool additions to bars and cafes to add extra, more unique seating. They can also add bike parking like they did in SF at Four Barrel.

    http://endoedibles.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/015-Four-Barrel-1.jpg

    This one I just kinda there taking up a parking spot. It will get used in the next few weeks for it’s novelty, but it doesn’t really serve much purpose after that. Honestly makes more sense as a parking spot in the long term. Again, I’m not trying to hate, I’m just kind of wondering why they had to raise $16k for something that’s temporary and just kind of unimaginative. If you wanted to simply add a few seats and some green space there are much better ways of doing it for 16k. Like this…

    http://labs.blogs.com/.a/6a00d8341caed853ef017d3d177e7e970c-800wi

  6. Happy to see citizens take the initiative on parklets!

    I’m with others on here who are less than impressed with the design. I was hoping the parklet looked similar to the examples shown by Squirrelchat and Lou. However, still a fan of the movement and hope to see these refined.

  7. I wonder how those parklets in other cities are funded. I hope we don’t have to have a kickstarter for each one that pops up in Raleigh.

  8. I’m with NCPhilly- off to a great start with some southern charm! Getting tired of everyone’s negativity on here.

  9. Dear Jake,

    My comment wasn’t intended to dump on the concept of parklets in Raleigh. I simply wasn’t a fan of this specific design implementation. I and others on here are allowed to have a subjective opinion about these things regardless of how you feel. I politely ask that you please be respectful to other viewpoints.

  10. I’ll also add that we’re all on the same side here. Raleigh needs more parklets. Some parklets will be nicer or more appealing to certain folks than others, but the overall concept is a worthy one and I applaud folks who are at least trying to do something about it.

  11. @Jake. I hear what you are saying about people bitching but consider the consequences to the idea of parklets if they aren’t done well at the outset. If not done well, the idea of them will fall out of favor and those who don’t want them (namely people who are all cars, all the time) will point to the failed implementation as validation for their position. If done well, their success will feed more parklets and gain support from the community.
    It’s not just about bitching, it’s about being strategic.

  12. John, well said!!!
    People complaining about the feedback must have been involved in designing this first parklet. It’s not bitching, it’s about doing it right the first time with character (this looks like a scene from a western: horse watering hole, straw/tumbleweed, sage brush and a wooden gate).

    Just asking to put some thought and character in these parklets, this is not a good first impression! Do it right or do not do it at all. The ones in Chicago and Boston look great!

  13. I’ll also add that complaining about it without providing ideas on how to make it better is really just bitching. It’s always helpful to put forth ideas on how to make something better.

  14. Aesthetically I agree it could be a bit more appealing. I really like the design of the second example Lou cited. However this one uses a lot more greenery than some of the other examples that’s something I really appreciate. In my opinion, one thing needed DT more than al fresco dining space is flora. I think more parklets with elements like this one could really increase downtown’s livability.

  15. John, I like that. Sounds similar to Design Thinking and the idea of only adding to enhancing ideas.

    ‘How can it be made better’ rather than ‘This is why it doesn’t work.’

    ‘Here is how I think it can be enhanced’ over ‘Here are the negatives.’

    The intended result should be the best plan that a group can come up with. If we, the city, commenters here, could only try and list what could make a project better, that is more constructive instead of listing out why it won’t work.

    I try and incorporate this thinking as much as I can. :)

  16. It’s interesting… How about a park let with a couple of tables with chest boards built into it and seats… Or a parklet with mosaic seating on it like park Guille in Barcelona.. Or a parklet with a flower stand on it.. Or, lastly, a parklet with outdoor tvs with flight information/train info and seating.. It’s informative and functional.. Just some thoughts…

  17. Nope, I didn’t have anything to do with creating this parklet, just don’t like seeing so much negativity when what’s being commented on is so positive. Maybe it’s not the design you had in mind. Ok, so I challenge you: go organize and build your very own parklet! Show Raleigh what greatness looks like, in your eyes! I appreciate what everyone is saying, especially John’s comment that the first impressions need to win over the nay sayers, and all of your ideas are great ones; I’d just be interested to see any of you go out and try and implement these ideas yourself. And if you do, please share your work! Tell us how to support! Just don’t sit behind your keyboard and talk negatively about something someone put a lot of work and money into. All’s I’m saying. But great ideas all around, everyone! That’s what I love about this city- endless ideas; endless creativity. The next best thing is always right around the corner, like maybe the next best parklet! Keep em coming

  18. My understanding is that when the Parklet opened last weekend during Wide Open Bluegrass, it wasn’t completely finished. I think they were waiting on some metal work to be fabricated. Knowing the students who designed and built this, I expect there will be more than just a few potted plants and hay bales. I was one of these students a few years ago and I know what that program is capable of. I think a valid argument can be made about opening before they were ready, but it will be fun to watch the space evolve.

  19. took my dog to the parklet for a run and we had to go around the thing about a hundred times before he got tired.

  20. FYI there is a feasibility study currently under way to determine how a microminibrewery could become part of the parklet modality in order to enhance the overall vitality of the space. We have found that a multi-level parklet concept would best accommodate such a change, and we are excited that drawings are in the final stage of completion. BTW, I kind of miss the hay bales.

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