Community Suggests Ideas For Potter’s Terrace

A public meeting was held at Winter Garden Plaza on Thursday so that community members could give their input into ideas for the future of the closed down AIDS Memorial Park. These suggestions will be going to a board meeting at a later date. P-J photos by Carly Gould

A community input session for the future of Potter’s Terrace and the re-establishment of the AIDS Memorial was held at Winter Garden Plaza Thursday.

Potter’s Terrace, or AIDS Memorial Park, was closed down in July due to structural issues. A fence now surrounds the area to keep anyone from going near it, as officials are worried that it might collapse.

“There used to be buildings there,” said Pete Miraglia, the director of the Jamestown Renaissance Corp., “and when they burned down, there was little interest in redeveloping the site. So, the city built a deck.”

The biggest issues, Miraglia said, are the old foundations that were built over. It’s completely hollow underneath the terrace, and that has led to other problems, like rotting bricks and water leaks. Miraglia said the city was right to close the terrace because of these problems.

“There were a lot of events going on in that space, so it’s good that it closed down before anyone got hurt,” said Autumn Swanson, a Jamestown resident.

Miraglia said the Jamestown Renaissance Corp., which owns the terrace, is gathering information and opinions from the community and the buildings situated next to the lot. This way, the corporation can have a better understanding of what the public would like to see for the lot and make a plan on how to move forward.

Swanson, prior to the meeting, managed to collect 379 signatures in support of the AIDS Memorial Park to remain a park space open to the public and the memorial be rededicated to the park.

“There’s been talks about how the AIDS Memorial itself has been in disrepair,” Swanson said. “And we definitely want to see it back up again.”

Once Miraglia has gathered enough feedback, he will take it back to the board, which consists of 17 members, including the mayor of Jamestown. Miraglia said once they’ve decided on a plan, it will still be a few years before the lot can be reopened. No matter what, he said, the first order of business would be filling in the foundation.

“We’re open to any and all suggestions,” Miraglia said. “It will be my job to present the community’s plans to the board. The Winter Garden Plaza took four years to build, so it will be some time before we see anything happen with Potter’s Terrace.”

If you want to submit feedback or make a suggestion for what should happen to Potter’s Terrace, contact Miraglia at 489-3494, or email him at pete@jamestownrenaissance.org.

Jamestown Renaissance Corp. is a not-for-profit corporation that works to create a more vibrant downtown, healthier neighborhoods, a competitive region and strong partnerships. For more information, go to jamestownrenaissance.org.

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