Atlanta residents to get update on westside park honoring civil rights


Residents in Vine City, English Avenue and other West End Atlanta communities will get an update this weekend on a long promised park for the area.

Officials will unveil the latest plans for Rodney Cook Sr. Park, including a rendering of the 16-acre greenspace that will feature statues of civil rights leaders, including Julian Bond, Andrew Young and Hosea Williams.

The project, which has been in the planning stages since 2012, is designed to replace Mims Park, a gathering spot for the community until the 1950s when the land was used to build Bethune Elementary School.

Cook Park, which could cost as much as $50 million to construct, will require having infrastructure improvements. The area for the site, along Joseph E. Boone Boulevard, is prone to flooding and the city has said it would have to spend millions to build a stormwater retention pond to capture the water similar to the one at Historic Old Fourth Ward Park.

Cook’s son, Rodney Cook Jr., a leading advocate for the park, has pledged to raise more than $10 million for the statues through the National Monuments Foundation, an Atlanta-based group of which he is president.

The development of Cook Park has been controversial because originally the plan was to resurrect the Mims name for the greenspace.

Livingston Mims, the park’s namesake and a relative of the Cooks, was an Atlanta mayor. But the community objected because Mims also was a Confederate soldier. A planned statue for Mims also has been withdrawn.

The city late last year agreed to name the park for Cook Sr. as a compromise. Cook Sr. was a member of the Georgia Legislature and a civil rights advocate, voting in 1966 for Bond to be seated in the august body despite objections from his colleagues.

The 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday gathering will be at Higher Ground Empowerment Center, 561 Spencer Street, Atlanta, 30314.


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Politics

The Left questions the reasons behind deporting Haitians who were here legally
The Left questions the reasons behind deporting Haitians who were here legally

Thousands of Haitians have now lost their Temporary Protected Status, the deportation protection that allowed them to live and work in the United States following the devastating earthquake of 2010. A roundup of editorials Tuesday takes a look at the issue. From The New York Daily News: Trump’s decision is not about undocumented immigrants. The...
The Right may need to dump Roy Moore, but they want to see the Left dump Al Franken first
The Right may need to dump Roy Moore, but they want to see the Left dump Al Franken first

Is it OK when it’s our guy involved in sexual misconduct, but not when it’s theirs? A roundup of editorials Tuesday takes a look at the issue. From The Resurgent: Do you think Republicans are going to condemn Roy Moore if Democrats are not doing the same with Al Franken? From Townhall: Roy Moore has to go, but, then, so does Sen. Al Franken...
Georgia attorney general warns holiday shoppers to protect themselves
Georgia attorney general warns holiday shoppers to protect themselves

Before shopping for the holidays, Georgia customers should take precautions against fraud, rip-offs and identity theft. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says the prevalence of online gift buying makes it more important than ever for customers to safeguard their wallets and identities. He provided several tips: Shoppers should consider...
Federal tax overhaul plans target bonds widely used in Georgia
Federal tax overhaul plans target bonds widely used in Georgia

Congressional proposals to change the U.S. tax structure may have a major impact in the future on infrastructure projects in Georgia — from road construction to how much students pay to live in college dorms. The tax overhaul that the U.S. House passed last week would eliminate the kind of bonds the University System of Georgia has used to build...
First American title pawn pays $225K for alleged violations against Georgia customers
First American title pawn pays $225K for alleged violations against Georgia customers

A Georgia title pawn company is paying about $225,000 to settle allegations that it sued customers who defaulted on loans, threatened customers with arrest warrants and misrepresented itself in advertisements. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced last week that First American Title Lending of Georgia will make the payment in response...
More Stories