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LETTERS : THE SALE OF TIFT PARK

1. John Sherman (2)

2. Huddy Hudgins (with attachments)

3. Dorothy Hubbard, Mayor

 

(click to enlarge below)

Letter from Harold "Huddy" Hudgins  February 21, 2014

 

page 1

 

 

page 2

 

 

Sketch Map

 

 

 

 

Vicinity Map

 

 

The Wigwam

 

and Letter from Dorothy Hubbard, Mayor

March 3, 2014

 

Click here: City to sell vacant stables near Tift Park - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

 

 Click here: Albany City Manager Taylor: Tift Park is not for sale | Albany Herald

Click here: Auction of four city of Albany properties brings in $566,000, pending commission approval | Albany Herald

2/16/2014:

Dear Rawson Circle neighbors, Albanians, Historians, and South West Georgians,

 
Many of you have fond memories of Tift Park, and many of you still use it today, as I do. Tift park, as you probably know, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places 1993. The City Commission, the City Manager and the Planning Director have quietly approved the subdividing of Tift Park for sale to the highest bidder. Once again the Historic Preservation Commission is AWOL. The flagged survey stakes reach from Palmyra Road down Seventh to Jefferson, to Fifth Avenue and then north to the starting point. Drive by there and take a look at them. What will this do to Rawson Circle?
 
Parcel II is the first tract they intend to auction. Parcel II is the site of Nelson Tift's old dance pavilion, or as I remember it, the Wigwam. Up until a few years ago it housed the Police Horse Patrol Unit. This tract is directly across from the NEW gas station on Seventh and Jefferson. I have been told by reliable sources that this auction could occur in the next month or two.
 
I am including an attachment of a plat if I can that was prepared outside the City of Albany Engineering Department in 2013 (I have heard excuses why). I am also including a letter to the Editor of the Albany Herald. I have no reason to expect that it will be published after my past experience with defeating the Bus Station on Flint an Roosevelt. I have also filed an Open Records Act Request to see what is behind all this and who wants to redact our history, memories and use of the "Good Life City" Parks. It looks like people who did not grow up in SWGA are destroying our Heritage. I need you to display your displeasure, if you so desire. P.S. For all of you located near or in the Tift Park Region, I understand it is the intention of the City of Albany to sell the Fire Station on Eighth and Palmyra. This has also been kept under radar. How much will your insurance rates go up? Who is your commissioner? JOHN M. SHERMAN

***

 

     Sherman Timber, LLC

John M. Sherman

704 7th Avenue

Albany, GA  31701

Phone (229) 439-9664

surewood250@bellsouth.net

SAVE TIFT PARK

It is in the middle of the summer, it is 2 am in the morning, and the clickity click attic fan is drawing warm air thru the open windows in my home in Rawson Circle.  I am lying in bed, with my bird dog, Rebel, waiting to hear Albany’s version of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio lion.   As if the lion owned a watch, he would blast forth his mighty roar from Tift Park Zoo echoed occasionally by the shrill trumpet of the elephant. I can go back to sleep now because all is well. But, all is no longer well.

Back in the fifties, I remember swimming at Tift Park in the concrete and limestone rock wading pool with a centered fountain. This was before the alligators inherited it. I remember taking art classes at the Wigwam (old dance pavilion) at the northeast corner of Tift Park and at the intersection Seventh and Jefferson Street. The National Register application states, “The pavilion and the surrounding grounds supported an encampment of soldiers in transit during the Spinish American War.” I do not remember that. I do remember getting a grape snow cone for a nickel at the concession stand.  I remember making faces at the monkeys only to be mirrored with the same facial contortions. These are some memories people of my generation have; but there are also generations before me and generations following me with memories of Tift Park. Tift Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. During week days at the park, you will see citizens meeting, eating lunch, walking and exercising at Tift Park. On the weekends you will see picnics, barbecues, reunions, and games being enjoyed by families, churches and friends.

In the beginning, Albany’s forefathers had the citizens at heart and in mind when the 105 year old Tift Park was designed. Otto Katzenstein, an architect from Atlanta, laid out oak lined carriage trails, and grassy areas with the requirement that no “keep off the grass signs” would be permitted. The oaks that lined the carriage trails are alive today. Tift Park was Albany’s first step in city beautification and the first step in providing recreational facilities for its citizens. Early in the last century, civic minded Albanians initiated a progressive era when they realized economic development was handcuffed to public improvements for the welfare, health and recreation of the citizenry. Where are these civic minded leaders today? Today’s leaders want to sell heritage, memories and wellbeing for top dollar. They want to segment Tift Park and sell off parcels beginning with Tract II on the survey.

Tift Park was the first park in Albany, founded in 1909, and is now the first one to be declared partially or wholly SURPLUS PROPERTY. A piece by piece dissection of the park will start at the newly surveyed corner of Seventh and Jefferson.  A survey and plat of Tift Park was covertly prepared and signed on January 6, 2013 by James L. Taylor, City Manager and Paul Forgey, Director of Planning and Development and overseer of Historic Preservation. When asked, the Parks and Recreation Department did not know who prepared the survey for all 28 acres of the park or why.  The Recreation Department occupies the old Tift Park teen center building and is charged with the responsibility for Tift Park’s maintenance. The City of Albany did not use its own engineering department to survey Tift Park but instead hired, in 2013, a private party to survey the property at an additional cost to taxpayers. The first parcel to be sold is referred to as Tract II on the plat or the Wigwam.

You have a phone, you have a pen, and you have a short time to make your voice heard.  Start a petition, start a web site or just contact the Mayor’s Office by phone at 229-431-3244 or Fax 2229-878-3198 and contact your city commissioners. Unless you stand up, the auctioneer’s gavel will come down.

 

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