71°Partly Cloudy

Ribbon-Cutting Set for Rosslyn’s Hillside Park

by ARLnow.com November 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm 3,065 11 Comments

On Saturday afternoon, the Arlington County Parks Department will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently-reopened Hillside Park in Rosslyn. The county is touting the park as a “sustainable public place” — but at least one critic is calling it “expensive” and “ugly.”

The county describes Hillside Park as an “urban forest.” It spent $500,000 renovating the 1.3 acre park from spring to fall of this year. The renovations included the placement of benches, picnic tables and walking paths, as well as artistic ironwork and other decorative flourishes.

Park planners utilized design techniques consistent with the county’s sustainable goals and practices. The park features permeable paving, elevated decks to protect tree roots, improved irrigation, recycled construction materials, and low water-use plants. The existing tree canopy was preserved and negative impacts from construction were minimized.

The funding for the renovations was provided by the developer of the adjacent Parc-Rosslyn apartment building.

Not everybody was impressed with the park’s design, however.

Douglas Galbi, who runs the Ode Street Tribune blog, called the renovations “ugly” and a “fiasco.”

“A half-million dollars was spent renovating Hillside Park,” he wrote. “The result isn’t worth a tenth of that.”

Galbi, who described the park’s decorative metal fences as “pointless,” now has a small photo of the park on every page of his blog along with the headline “WE CAN DO BETTER.”

Saturday’s ribbon-cutting will take place at 1:00 p.m. The park is located at 1601 North Pierce Street.

Photo via Arlington County Parks Dept.

  • George McC

    That is a shame the county couldn’t please everyone. It really is a lovely park.

  • KalashniKEV

    “features permeable paving, elevated decks…”

    As in “won’t last the winter?”

    And why doesn’t somebody put up the rest of that fence??? I didn’t think it was done! That’s the stupidest “fence” I’ve ever seen in my life!

  • Jason S

    I haven’t seen it, but think that it should be damn impressive for $500K.

    • KalashniKEV

      I wonder how much it would cost to put up the rest of the fence?

      Or how much they actually paid to install 30% of a fence…

  • Andrew

    Here’s my problem with the park: It’s on a HILL. There’s only so much you can do on a hill. You can go up it. You can go down it. You could stand on it for a little while, I suppose. But you can’t really play games or ball there.

    As much as I would hate to see it, the trees should have been cut down, some places leveled off with earth movers and playground equipment installed. Barring that, cut the trees down and design it as an official and safe “Sledding Hill” for the kids to play on in the winter.

    But what we have there right now is a joke.

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      How stupid would that be when the Wilson School Park is two blocks away, which is flat and where you can play games or ball.

      • NorthAdams

        Yeah, but the County is going to redevelop Wilson School AND the Fire Station. They keep saying they won’t but it is going to happen.

  • LPS4DL

    Douglas Galbi a critic? Perhaps a cynic, but not a critic. Does he have a credential that makes his opinion worth publishing or is he part of your usual method to stir controversy? The story also has contradicting information. Who paid for the renovation, the county or the developer? Finally, did Galbi participate in the process that developed the renovation? Did the county use its usual process where the local residents participate in the planning or did the developer plan this independent of the county process? Try adding some information before you publish.

    • I think Galbi’s points are pretty solid. I also think the only credential for having an opinion is being a citizen/resident of Arlington. This aint no autocracy where you only get to have a view if you have met threshhold requirements. Doug’s blog has been a pretty impressive contribution to the Arlington New Media scene.

  • SoCo Resident

    So, this was at least free to the taxpayers. Its ok but doesn’t make 100% sense. But, the bottom line is that we are running out of room and every little park helps. $1.7 million in bonds was just voted to renovate an already existing dog park – out of a total $5.4 million for all parks in Arlington.

    South of Courthouse, SoCo, neighborhood in the triangle bounded
    by N.10th St., Wash&Arl blvds.

  • KR

    We had a hillside park in my neighborhood growing up and it was wonderful! Hope those who live near this one enjoy it to its fullest!


Subscribe to our mailing list