Saturday, July 2, 2016

City's "Jewel" Needs Some Decisions

     The monument in Thompson Park, whether you like it or not, is certainly a major investment and before a bunch of money is spent on a pool, might a bandstand, lighting and rest rooms be better improvements considered ?  
Monument Dedication on Friday
Attempted Revival of Kite Day in 2014
    An endowment to solicit private sector money has been formed as well.
     As I said while in office, the pool should either be decommissioned and removed or rebuilt now.
To leave blight in the middle of the park is antithetical to what the facility is all about.
      Yesterday I heard a speaker refer to the Park as the "jewel" of Watertown. If so, some decisions are needed and some attention should be paid to the two commercial ventures up there, both of which have their own challenges.
      The dithering shown when that fountain downtown got flattened should not be a template for the Park.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...


Very well said Jeff. We don't often realize just how fortunate we are to have an Olmsted Park especially one as beautiful as Thompson Park; We are in fact the smallest city in the Us to have an Olmsted Park. Having lived in many other places, I have seen many parks and still feel that we have one of the nicest.

As usual, we do not fully exploit the park to its potential. I remember as a boy that there was an outdoor stage at the bottom of the great hill. I remember kite day - now all but squashed by council- and other events that brought people to the park. As a teen we congregated there to socialize, recreate and yes; to drink and have fun.

It is high time that we took a fresh look at the "jewel" and started to plan for what we would like to see the park become in the future. A hollywood bowl type of area would be wonderful and could do a great deal to expand the cultural uses for the park. Nice post.

ray lear said...

Tell me we don't all love the stone pavilion near the zoo. Great place to have a meal, birthday party, and or a family thing. Everyone has used it, and enjoyed it much. But it is full. Wouldn't another one be great? I bet it would fit just right on that pool sight. Plus yes, some new bathrooms. Some lights. I would even agree to a Dog Park someplace out of the way. Not right in the middle. Plus I heard talk of a ball park before. Why not? Baseball, softball, on a hot Summer day. Perfect. We have enough pools to take care of the need. Time to move on.

Anonymous said...

The park is truly outstanding . Whenever we visit Watertown we make certain to go to the park. Maintaining and improving this venue should be a priority .

It is a shame that the $$$ spent on that ugly chunk of concrete glorifying war was not used to address the issues you cited in this piece . I realize it was privately financed but a more fitting use of that would have been to do something to beautify the venue , not glorify man's basest nature .

Anonymous said...

We should hire a Park Czar. We should extend the hours, especially in the summer. Get that czar from somewhere else, as no Watertown person would be qualified.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the contours of the great lawn area, it is obvious that an amphitheatre would be a good fit there.. You could dig into the side of the hill a bit,and install either stadium seating or semi-permanent chairs that you could remove for the winter. And then a permanent stage or bandshell at the bottom. Just look at the amphitheater on the lake that Syracuse recently built, something like that would be great for that lawn area..

Anonymous said...

It is not too late to tear the monument out of there.
Its not like the money is gone. It mostly went to local contractors and workers earning a ridiculous "prevailing rate". So you should think of the money as just another welfare payment that stays in the community. The only thing we would be out, if we tore it out of there, is a $20k rock. We could move that rock down to the old fountain site and re-purpose it. Win-win !

Anonymous said...

Something needs to be done with the Park, a Bandstand was always funded in COW budgets in the Forbes Era, not so much now....Don't let it become what so often happens to other parks in the area, like for instance in Theresa, NY Where the Park there has lapsed into disrepair due to an uncaring board...

Anonymous said...

You are nuts 223,I saw it today, people were going up to it and visiting,it looks nice.I have never seen people use that site before,as all it had on it was a sign saying no ball playing or whatever.Finally something positive on the site,a remembrance to our heroes,a teaching moment for the kids,a place to reflect that freedom isn't free,and our soldiers gave their all so we can enjoy such beauty.If you want to persist in being negative,maybe go find a field on farmer joe's land,walk out into the middle,and stick your head into a woodchuck burrow,and contemplate your peace and solitude.It would be an improvement for all..

Anonymous said...

Who's going to pay for it, 1:28 PM???????

Anonymous said...

8:26 is right. We have it. Let's enjoy it. But that closing time is completely stupid. Extend the hours in the summer.

Anonymous said...

2 pools are sufficient. Tear out park pool put little kid splash park in.

Bathrooms and lights, yes.

Bandstand yes

Anonymous said...

An amphitheater would be incredible. Believe it or not, there's potential for very good entertainment if promoted correctly. Of course, the typical digit head booger eaters, who never think outside the box, would bring up the negatives of such a project. Like parking, traffic and such. Park at the town barn, and shuttle them. Let's get creative H2Otown.

Anonymous said...

853 Who is paying for the new pool Butler and Walczyk are promising ?

Anonymous said...

8:53, since apparently it is easy to find money for the upstate Hunger Games, I suggest a grant from New York State. We pay enough in taxes we may as well get something back.For the remainder, how about a sponsor such as National Grid, because as the price of electricity goes down,my bill keeps going up with delivery fees so apparently they are rolling in money.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Graham, Indeed watertown is fortunate to have an Olmstead Park. It was a jewel when built, but if changes continue to be made without a historial perspective as to the original concept, it will no longer be a jewel. Thopmkins Park ,like all of Olmsteads parks, was designed to be simplistic in nature, a place of refuge and solace, where one could enjoy the pure symmetry and unadorned and uninterrupted beauty of nature. The above suggestions as to modifications, while admirable and perhaps commendable to promote somewhere in the city, simply are not appropriate uses of this park.

While it is too late to protect the Park from the obvious assault to nature that is inherent in the construction of a military monument, I would suggest the COW leaders do some reading to get some context of what the Olmsteads intended. It is sad to see this Park denigrate into what should be typical, conventonal city recreational areas. Thank god the idea of a dog park was turned aside, but most of the current suggestions are equally as inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

Says you,you prig..and that is devolve,not denigrate,denigrate is just what I did to you.

Anonymous said...

8:23, It's always interesting when someone exhibits the very same characteristics they attempt to "denigrate" someone else with.

Thanks for the correction in grammar. If I had known you were paying that close attention, I would have referred to my thesaurus, to be more precise. You just never know when a fellow "prig" is reading the WDT.

It is encouraging that at least you understood my point enough to correct me and assure the readers of my meaning. I than you for that.

Anonymous said...

11:44, that was a very fine post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct 7:19 a.m. it is very interesting when someone gets put in their place when they are trying to impress everybody with their massive intellect.

Anonymous said...

Sorry 4:10, afraid you missed my point. You are as much a prig as anyone for correcting such an obvious grammatical mistake, with the haughtiness of a moralistic superior, when it was obvious even to you what the intended meaning was. We had an expression for frauds like you when I took high school English.
"You're more observant than you are bright".

I attempted to give you some quarter, but I see the effort was fruitless. If offering a reasoned argument is offensive to you,or represents the display of a "massive intellect" then by gosh it's a good thing you can at least resort to "denigration" as a fallback response. I'll try to include at least one grammatical error for you to jump in and criticize,so you'll have something to contribute.

Anonymous said...

4:10, start a new sentence with the word it. At least something about me is massive. I'd be upset to if I were you.

Anonymous said...

Heehee you are too easy 1035/159,done with you now.

Anonymous said...

trollin this idiots is fun huh 1217?

I know they can't debate, so I always give them egregious misspellings and non-existent grammar to run with.
It never seems to dawn on them how easily they're been had...

Anonymous said...

Denigrated works for me. It doesn't have to be verbal to be denigrating. Irregardless...they never should have desecrated the Park with that monument.

Anonymous said...

irregardless = uneducated

Anonymous said...

11:10 I'm with you. we'll leave the nit-picking to the Sheldon Cooper's of the world, although that comparison may be giving far to much intellectual credit to the OCD cretin stalking this forum.