Introducing...The Pocket Park
Plans for the “Historic Downtown Franklin Pocket Park” were unveiled Tuesday night at City Hall in Franklin.
Glenn Todd, city inspector, and Ed “Tiger” Verdin, city public relations director, presented to Mayor Eugene Foulcard and Franklin Councilmembers an artist’s rendering of the proposed pocket park, as Verdin described the vision behind the planning of the park.
“In the heart of historic downtown Franklin, lies a barren green space that once housed the Center Theatre during our city’s yesteryears,” Verdin said. “The Center Theatre was demolished in 2016. With that area being vacant, it was envisioned that the space was ripe and would be the right eco-friendly area to help create foot traffic for our downtown area, and spur the ongoing revitalization of Franklin.”
Verdin described the “healing power of nature” as “unifying,” and said, “The open air art space and stage memorializing Mayci Breaux within the park will deliver a message of hope and healing for generations to come.”
Breaux was one of several victims of the Lafayette theatre shooting on July 23, 2015. She was laid to rest here in her hometown of Franklin.
Verdin said plans further include a fountain dedicated to victims of gun violence, and a ballerina near a small performance stage, which will be situated at the southeastern center point of the park.
The presentation continued with Todd describing the functionality of the park.
“We were looking for something that we could afford to do, that each person in our city could have a part of,” Todd said, “kind of like making our own time capsule. So each person can make a mark here with the plan that we have going forward.”
Todd described tiles and bricks composing the walkway of the park, available for purchase and memorialization by citizens and businesses.
“This is going to be the first time in anyone in this room’s living memory, that anything has been constructed in downtown Franklin, Louisiana,” he said, calling the opportunity to purchase a brick, a chance to speak to our descendants.
Verdin closed by saying, “As you can see, with ideas and visions, and the energetic people that live here, we can make anything happen.”