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Clark Park gazebo to be renovated

EVERETT — The historic gazebo in Clark Park will soon get a modern makeover if the City Council OKs a parks department plan.
The gazebo would receive ramps to comply with American with Disabilities Act standards, increased lighting and could get movable shutters that allow the gazebo to be closed at night.
The shutter system would provide relief for users from bright sunshine as well as the ability to close off all of the gazebo’s accessible areas at night when the park is closed.
Last week, the council heard the first reading of an ordinance to begin the process: a $30,000 request to hire a designer for the movable shutter system. They’ll vote on the expenditure Aug. 31.
If all goes smoothly, construction on the gazebo would be finished by spring 2023, city parks department director Bob Leonard said.
“Our goal is to make it more usable for the public,” Leonard said.
The parks department worked in collaboration with the community on the proposed upgrades.
“We were more in partnership with them than they were with us,” said Leonard. “Those are the best kinds of projects.”
At the request of the Bayside Neighborhood, the city removed a chain-link fence surrounding the structure just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It had been installed in 2012 to thwart misuse. Residents complained that the fence not only denied access to the gazebo but was ugly.
Though the gazebo has suffered a bit of vandalism and trespassing since removing the fence, its removal has been a “vast improvement,” Leonard said.
Currently the public has access to the gazebo and people can reserve it for parties or private gatherings.
The proposal also calls for landscaping around the gazebo so there are fewer places to be out of sight.
The renovations to the gazebo will be designed to look historic, Leonard said.
“We have to find a way for it to be operable,” he noted, “and still be aesthetically pleasing.”
Clark Park, originally named City Park, was established in 1894 and was the city’s first recreation space. It’s in the 2400 block of Lombard Avenue. It gained its name in 1931 to honor city pioneer John J. Clark.



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