For months, Columbus developer and businessman Chris Woodruff looked at the stump in the 1200 block of the Broadway.
Finally, in the decaying wood, he saw an opportunity to activate the space.
Wednesday afternoon, the community saw the results of that opportunity, a $200,000 pocket park funded by private donors in the median of a city block that is undergoing dramatic transformation.
The park was dedicated in a ceremony attended by more than 100 people.
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“This park is not about making money or who gets the credit,” Woodruff said. “This is not Chris Woodruff’s park and it’s not Uptown Columbus’ park. This is our park.”
The park was the brainchild of Woodruff, president of The Cotton Companies and it was done in cooperation with Uptown Columbus Inc.
The one dead oak has been replaced by six transplanted oaks in the 2,400-square-foot space. There are nearly three dozen red cubes that will seat one, two or even three people. There are also eight faux rocks that also serve as seats.
It is all about connectivity, Woodruff said.
“This park is about bringing people together,” he said. “That is what we are celebrating today. We’re celebrating connectivity.”
Uptown Columbus Chairman Reynold Bickerstaff, who has known Woodruff most of his life, praised his friend.
“This is not a normal construction project,” Bickerstaff said. “And to see that through and carry on takes discipline, passion and general love for community. I am proud to call Chris my friend, but also a friend of Uptown Columbus.”
The project had been in the planning phase for nearly two years.
Last month, six large swamp white oak trees were planted in a new park, replacing the the oak that had to removed. The nine-year-old trees are more than 7 inches in diameter and weigh about 7,500 pounds each.
In addition to The Cotton Companies and Uptown Columbus Inc., Bruce Tile Company, Barnes/Gibson/Parnters, Alexander Electric, Trees Columbus, the city of Columbus, Columbus Water Works, Georgia Power Co., Cut Above and others have participated in the effort.