Greenspace To Replace Benches At Potter’s Terrace

An S. Tabone Paving & Sealcoating construction worker fills in a hole with dirt where the wooden platform used to be located at Potters Terrace, also known as AIDS Memorial Park or Wood Park. Greenspace and benches will be installed at the park located along East Third Street in the future. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The wooden benches that were deemed unsafe at Potter’s Terrace a couple of years ago have been removed to make way for greenspace.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corp., owners of the park that is also known as AIDS Memorial Park or Wood Park, moved forward with plans last week to turn Potter’s Terrace — which has been barricade by a fence because of structural issues — into greenspace that will also include some new benches.

Frank Besse, JRC urban core director, said the space was considered unsafe in July 2019 because the former wooden structure was a platform that sat above a 7- to 8-foot hole, which now will be filled in with dirt.

“We have been exploring options and the safest thing would be to remove the wooden platform and fill in the hole with dirt,” he said. “This will keep things stable and will allow us to make greenspace on top of it so it can be back opened to the public as soon as possible.”

Besse said JRC officials are keeping future plans for the space simple so it can be reopened to the public very soon.

“We’re keeping things modest so it can be open instead of doing something that is large and will take a long time,” he said. “We want to move forward and not let the finish line get in the way of starting.”

Besse said JRC officials will be continuing to discuss the AIDS Memorial Park component of Potter’s Terrace. He said it’s being determined if the memorial should remain at Potter’s Terrace or if there is a better location in the city for the testimonial.

“We understand the history (of the AIDS memorial),” he said. “We don’t want to remove it complete from the community. We’re just wondering if there is a better place.”

Besse said the hole should be filled in during the next couple weeks and then the greenspace and benches will be installed.

“We are going to move forward as soon as we can,” he said.


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