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The project logo Dix Park Plaza & Play

The project logo Dix Park Plaza & Play

After many years of planning, the City of Raleigh has the extraordinary opportunity to make Dorothea Dix Park one of the most spectacular public spaces in the country. The Plaza & Play is the first project to be implemented from Phase 1 of the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan. The project will establish an iconic entry plaza and play area along the newly inviting park edge on Lake Wheeler Road.

Project Summary: Spanning 12.5 acres (roughly twice the size of Moore Square), the Plaza & Play aspires to be an inviting and inspiring civic jewel for the City of Raleigh. The design will introduce world-class play spaces, gardens, and gathering spaces while celebrating the site’s history through rehabilitated buildings and cultural landscapes. The Plaza & Play will also relocate the main entrance of Dorothea Dix Park to Lake Wheeler Road in order to improve access for all visitors travelling from the surrounding neighborhoods or Downtown Raleigh by foot, bike, car, scooter, or wheelchair and those using regional transportation networks. Once inside the park, the gently sloping pathways bring visitors of all abilities from the new plaza into the heart of the park. The grand entry plaza will do more than just announce arrival—it will also be an active zone at the park’s edge featuring elements such as a civic water play feature/fountain, swings, concessions, and cookout facilities. Creating an environment with universal appeal, Plaza & Play will provide Raleigh with an engaging meeting point for all those who want to gather with friends for a coffee or a quick bite and an accessible play area without a lengthy hike deep into the park.  

About This Website: This website is the online hub for public engagement activities related to the design process of Dorothea Dix Park’s Plaza & Play. To learn more about design progress for the Plaza and Play area at Dix Park, see

About The Team: To learn more about the design team and creators of this website, please visit The Team tab below.

You're Invited to the First Public Meeting

Join us here on October 7 at 6:30 p.m. for the first virtual Public Meeting to hear short project presentations from City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, and lead project consultant Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, engage in interactive live poll sessions with the community, and participate in a moderated live Q&A. 

Visit the Plaza and Play project website at