BAR HARBOR — The Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association has proposed creation of a new public park on the corner of West and Eden streets and Harbor Lane.
At the group’s 126th annual meeting on Aug. 17, President Dick Cough announced the proposal. The VIA has had a long history of establishing parks in Bar Harbor, starting with Glen Mary in 1894 and the Village Green in 1901.
The proposed park was the site of the DeGregoire Hotel, which burned down in the Great Fire of 1947. The lot has stood vacant since that time and is now owned by Joseph Cough. According to the VIA, Joe Cough has agreed to lease enough land to the VIA to build a small gateway park at the entrance to the village.
“This is an ideal location for a park, and the timing couldn’t be better since the MDOT will be reconstructing this section of Route 3 very soon,” Dick Cough said.
Perry Moore, a local landscape architect, has volunteered to prepare a design inspired by Beatrix Farrand and gardens around the island.
Elements planned for the park include shade trees, a concrete multi-use path, lighting, benches, a fountain and plantings. Possible names for this new park include DeGregoire Gateway Park, DeGregoire Gardens or DeGregoire Green.
The park will provide a great rest area and safe haven for College of the Atlantic students, hotel guests, walkers and bicyclists using the Eden Street corridor to access town.
The VIA will use $50,000 it pledged last year to the Route 3 project to upgrade materials, such as concrete in lieu of asphalt pavement for sidewalks, and add elements that were not included in the original plans, such as lighting.
Additional pledges have been made, and the VIA will contact hoteliers, local businesses and residents in hopes of raising another $200,000.