A.L. Davis Park, formerly known as Shakespeare Park, is located at the corner of Washington Avenue and LaSalle Street in Central City, New Orleans. Directly across the street from the former Magnolia/C.J. Peete Public Housing Development, the park holds extensive historical and cultural significance within the context of the neighborhood and the city. In recent years, the park has lost value as a community amenity due to lack of funding and maintenance, as well as an associated growth in crime.
The majority of the current A.L.Davis Park is an un-programmed open grass field. In order to support the comprehensive neighborhood development surrounding the park, it is important to develop an infrastructure that allows for and invites specific recreational and civic functions. The goal is to make the park user-friendly, accessible to the surrounding community and aesthetically pleasing in order to divert crime and violence. This comprehensive effort is being led by longtime neighborhood residents who hope to build on the park’s important history in the neighborhood. The design process has included numerous community meetings and outreach efforts, and the program distribution tries to incorporate many requests and suggestions by the community in regards to activities and infrastructure for the park.
The TCC worked with NONDC to develop a plan for the physical and programmatic improvement of AL Davis Park. The planning process was structured around a resident advisory committee that worked with the design and planning team. This group developed a strategy that was presented to an open public meeting at the end of Fall 2010. The plan explored ways to utilize the entire AL Davis park site for programs and activities identified as desirable by the surrounding communities.