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Clark Park gazebo could be reopened to public

EVERETT — Clark Park has been a centerpiece of the city for generations. A brewing conversation about reopening the park’s fenced-off grand gazebo could return the pavilion into use.
Clark Park’s location near downtown has provided residents with spaces to enjoy sunny summer days and bright fall foliage.
At its March 12 meeting, the city parks board discussed potential plans to install a new fencing system that would allow easier access to users and fit more with the historic aesthetic of the gazebo. Officials hope that the building could be further utilized, especially during the summer months to host community outings. Currently, a group of community members routinely fills up the space with decorations themed to different holidays. But the decor is heavily obstructed by the partition.
“Initially, we would try to open it up and monitor it,” said Lori Cummings, the city’s parks director.
In 2012, the city installed a chain link fence around the structure because of numerous complaints about possible illicit activity occurring in the gazebo.
The new barrier would allow approved community members to gain easier access to use the space. An early mock-up showed a gate that fit into the existing windows of the gazebo but blocked them off with a pattern of bars that fit into the architectural style of the property. These sections of the bars could potentially be opened so that visitors could have an unobstructed view of the outside world.
“We want to make it aesthetically pleasing yet very secure,” said assistant parks director Bob Leonard.
But, the official design and material make up has not yet been decided upon. Next, the department will present the idea to a historical group in Everett and the nearby neighborhood in order to get a more complete plan moving forward.
“I really feel like the neighbors should make the decision,” said Linda War Bonnet, the Board’s Vice Chairwoman.
Clark Park, originally named City Park, was established in 1894 and was the city’s first recreation space. It gained its name in 1931 to honor city pioneer John J. Clark. The gazebo is more than 100 years old and has previously hosted town events.


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