Design rendering of the future John Chavis Memorial Park community center


John Chavis Memorial Park Improvements

Honoring Our Past. Planning Our Future.

In April 2016, John Chavis Memorial Park was added to the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places. The improvements project scope includes a new two-story community center with a full-size indoor gym, elevated walking track, fitness center, and numerous classroom and meeting spaces. A renovation to the original Carousel House will allow for interior event space, and exterior bathroom access. Linking these two buildings together will be a new central plaza with an integrated water feature, and a large playground for all ages and abilities.

The Schematic Design was presented to the Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board on Mar. 16, 2017, and was approved by the Raleigh City Council on Mar. 21, 2017. The project moved into the final design, project administration, and permitting phases which were ultimately completed in Dec. 2018. City Council approved the project funding and selected a contractor on July 2, 2019.


Project Details

Project Lead:
Luke Wallenbeck
Clearscapes, Architecture + Art, Surface 678



Luke Wallenbeck

Lead Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Unit:




This phase is complete.


This phase is complete.


Construction is nearing completion. Join us for the Historic John Chavis Memorial Park Dedication on Saturday, June 12 to celebrate the new community center, playground, and central plaza as well as the renovation of the former carousel house. Learn More about the Dedication Event

Check out the Cultural Interpretive Plan & Exhibit Design for the park!

Please note that the pool facilities have been demolished as part of the project. The completed project will provide a wonderful and unique water play element in the central plaza. We encourage people to use the City of Raleigh Aquatics webpage to learn more about other pools and water play facilities available in the city.

New maple flooring in interior gym


Community members break ground on the new community center.


Date Activity
May 2014 Master Plan Adoption
June 2016 Strategic Implementation Study Complete
Fall 2016 - Spring 2017 Schematic Design Public Input & Design
March 16, 2017 Schematic Design Presentation to PRGAB
March 21. 2017 Schematic Design City Council Approval
April 2017 - February 2018 Design Development & Construction Documentation Period
February 2018 - December 2018 Permitting Period
December 2018 - August 2019 Bidding & Contracting
August 21, 2019 - August 30, 2019 Preliminary Construction Activities (Fencing, Tree Protection, Erosion Control)
September 6, 2019 Groundbreaking Celebration at 3 p.m.
September 9, 2019 Construction to Begin
Summer 2021 Construction Completion


The Chavis Park Community Conversation, a park planning effort from August 2012 through May 2014, resulted in an amended park master plan for the long-term development of the park.

An appointed Public Leadership Group, representing area stakeholders, worked towards a community understanding for both the history and the future of the park, establishing consensus on shared interests, desired amenities, and needed improvements for the park. The Raleigh City Council unanimously approved the Revised Master Plan for John Chavis Memorial Park at its May 20, 2014 meeting. All meeting materials can be found at Chavis Conversations Public Leadership Group.

There are have been several other milestones during this time of community planning and engagement, most recently, the approval of the 2014 Park Bond which identified nearly $12 million of implementation funds for Phase 1 of the revised Master Plan. On March 19, 2013, exactly 75 years to the date that the park was officially designated the John Chavis Memorial Park, City Council approved a proclamation recognizing the park's original name and its unique origins to serve African Americans during the era of segregated public facilities. A master plan was done in 1971 and was last revised in 1994.

The park was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on April 19, 2016.

The Raleigh City Council approved the Strategic Implementation Study on June 21, 2016. The study strategically refines the park master plan adopted in May 2014 and presents the park improvements expected using the 2014 Parks Bond funding.

The design phase of the project began in Fall of 2016 highlighted by numerous public input sessions. The Schematic Design was presented to the Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board on March 16, 2017, and was approved by the Raleigh City Council on March 21, 2017. The project was awarded a National Parks Service ORLP Grant, and City of Raleigh Stormwater Cost-share Program funds. 

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