Backstory and Context
As it is now the site is not exactly an inviting City pocket park. First, let's explore the history of this site. The site includes a remnant of Old Potter Road. Back in the 18th century, there were 2 main intersecting roads in what is now Mecklenburg County, the Great Wagon Road, and Old Potter Road. These roads intersected at Eastway Drive and North Tryon Street, not far from here. There is also a remnant of Old Potter Road in Evergreen Nature Preserve. The initial investigation into the history of the name is that it was thought to have been a commercial pottery route from Lincoln County, NC to markets in Charleston, SC. Later historical review by Jim Williams found the name existed prior to the pottery business and was named for 1780 settler Gordon Potter.
The City began conducting community meetings to plan the park in June 2017. From the meetings, a theme of "Memory Lane" developed. Historical information about the area will be displayed on colorful panels alone the Old Potter Road remnant. This area will include a walkway and seating. Community representatives ranked their top community destinations: (1) restaurants, (2) pharmacy, (3) nature preserve, and (4) park. There was also strong feedback to retain the local unique and diverse character of the surrounding neighborhoods.
In addition to the historical marker, the site will include space for outdoor dining, public art, and community events. This area between Kilborne Drive and Sharon Amity is home to over a dozen small independent international food establishments representing seven different countries.
The City is beginning the real estate acquisition phase and currently designing the electrical system that will include WiFi at the Potter Place Park. The construction is planned to begin in the Fall of 2022. This is going to be a great community place for neighbors and local businesses!
Please see the first attached picture of Manolo Betancur, owner of Manolo's Bakery, whose bakery is adjacent to the future Potter Place Park. The second picture is Manolo standing on the site of the planned Potter Place Park with a poster of the history of Old Potter Road. The third picture is Manolo with a poster of the plans for Potter Place Park. In the below video Manolo shares his thoughts of what Potter Place Park means to the community and the surrounding businesses.