Log in Newsletter


Fayetteville moves forward with public space projects, Market House redesign


At its Monday work session, the Fayetteville City Council approved plans for multiple projects that aim to enhance existing public spaces across the city. 

The approved projects include a plan to expand neighborhood connections to Mazarick Park, a new wayfinding system for Fayetteville’s Center City Parks and Trails and African American Heritage Trail, and renovations for the historic Market House.

Mazarick Park Neighborhood Connections plan

The council voted unanimously to approve a concept plan that would improve neighborhood connections to Mazarick Park, located on Belvedere Avenue and adjoining Glenville Lake. 

Following the council’s Jan. 31 approval of the Murchison Choice Neighborhood grant application, the plan’s approval marks the latest development in the city’s efforts to revitalize the Murchison Road corridor. The park is close to several key neighborhood features, such as Fayetteville State University and Smith Recreation Center, as well as Elliot Circle, around which the Murchison Choice Neighborhood plan is centered. 

Jake Petrosky, a planner with Stewart, the city’s consultant on the project, said the Mazarick Park Neighborhood Connections plan is part of the city’s overarching vision to build “a world-class system of parks and trails” that links different parts of Fayetteville to downtown. 

“There's a lot going on all over the city, but especially in and around the center city,” Petrosky said. “So this example, or this project, is really trying to connect the dots.” 

The park itself will be connected to several parks and recreation projects that are planned or completed. On the east side of the park is the Fayetteville Tennis Center and the future tennis complex. On the west side of the park is Marty McDonald Park, the future Senior Center East and Martin Luther King Jr. Park, which is also undergoing expansion plans. 

A map of the focus area for the Mazarick Park Neighborhood Connections plan.
A map of the focus area for the Mazarick Park Neighborhood Connections plan.

Here’s a rundown of the design and construction plans that promise to enhance the park and improve neighborhood connections: 

  • A bridge over Glenville Lake or its inlet, Little Cross Creek, to connect trails and neighborhoods on each side of the lake. 
  • A multi-use trail along the east shore of Glenville Lake to connect from Essex Place to the University Place Apartments. This could also include a trailhead near Council Street and/or Mary McDonald Park. 
  • New connections to Senior Center East (under construction) and Fayetteville State University via sidewalk and trails. The FSU connection would be aimed at improving pedestrian and bike connections from East Shore Trail to existing Murchison Road crossings. 
  • New connections to the surrounding neighborhood via sidewalks and trails, which could include connections to Essex Place, Carver Street, Lakeland Street or Church Street. and/or Kornbow Street.
  • Other potential park and programming improvements, such as a fishing pier, wildlife viewing platform, playground, stormwater improvements and educational programming opportunities.

With the concept plan approved by the council, the city can now begin the design process, which also involves coordinating with local partners, such as FSU and the Public Works Commission. For a detailed summary of the Mazarick Park Neighborhood Connections plan, click here

Wayfinding path system

The council voted unanimously to move forward with a plan for the design, purchase and installation of signs for an improved “wayfinding” system for Fayetteville’s Center City Parks and Trails and African American Heritage Trail. 

This wayfinding system aims to guide visitors through the city’s network of public trails, greenways, roadways, sidewalks, parks, plazas and urban areas. The expansive plan — an update from the current one — includes a graphic trail system map, expanded trail medallions, defined signage types and location standards and an updated signage map, according to the presentation Monday. 

Notably, the plan features updates to signage on the African American Heritage Trail, which passes through landmarks and monuments recognizing the history and culture of African Americans in Cumberland County. 

The updated signage includes a redesigned logo for the African American Heritage Trail, with a new icon to represent it. The new logo includes, in addition to the African continent, the trail’s acronym (AAHT), distinguishing it from other logos that only have symbol icons in the center. The logo also has symbolic markings on the eastern and central half of Africa to highlight the “eastern, central parts of Africa where a lot of the transplanted slaves were being brought from,” a project design consultant said. 

The new logo on the left, with the old logo on the right
The new logo on the left, with the old logo on the right

In addition, the plan recommends the city have a crosswalk mural to mark the African American Heritage Trail’s intersection with roadways. Potential designs for the crosswalk murals have the trail’s medallion surrounded by vibrant patterns. 

“Crosswalks on the African American Heritage Trails would be excellent candidates for themed art that celebrates African American art and culture,” the plan states. 

For a detailed overview of the wayfinding plan, click here

Market House renovations

The council has approved a design plan for renovations to the historic Market House downtown. The design approval comes after the council approved a repurposing plan for the historic landmark in August 2022. 

The approved changes, afforded with $1.5 million in state funds, will make the structure ADA accessible and improve pedestrian safety surrounding the structure. Notably, the renovations will include a covered passageway extending from the base of the steps. Part of the current roadway will be milled and paved to 4,400 square feet around the structure.

In extending the brick pavers, the renovations will cover up the Black Lives Matter mural surrounding the Market House. The mural was initially painted during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The city removed the mural in January 2021, but then decided to restore it later on. 

The Market House has often been the center of debates around race in Fayetteville, particularly pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement, with many arguing it should be removed entirely for its past as a place where enslaved people were sold. The structure was set on fire during the George Floyd protests in May 2020.  

As part of the repurposing project, the current plaque on the Market House will also be updated slightly. The plaque, installed 1989, honors the memory of African Americans who were sold as slaves at the site in the 19th century. The new wording, which was presented on Monday, adds that people were “enslaved,” and also “sold as slaves” at the Market House. It also expands the scope of the original text, noting that people were sold as slaves at the Market House, “and other places in our community.” The changes also emphasize the resilience of enslaved people, whose “suffering and strength afforded the opportunity for future generations to be recognized as citizens.” 

When the renovations are complete, the approved renovation plan calls for the Market House to be used as an educational and cultural venue, with exhibits and programs that emphasize the historical contributions of African Americans.

Contact Evey Weisblat at eweisblat@cityviewnc.com or 216-527-3608. 

To keep CityView Today going and to grow our impact even more, we're asking our committed readers to consider becoming a member.

Take one minute to join now. 

Market House, African American, Mazarick Park, parks, trails, wayfinding