Preservation groups in Raleigh say the city should protect the historic buildings on the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus. The city council plans to convert the property into a public park. The state leased the land to Raleigh last month for $68 million over 75 years. But the Raleigh City Council has yet to create a master plan for the future park. Myrick Howard is the president of Preservation North Carolina:
"Even if you do the math and say, 'Well, there's 225 acres of land left to do with as an open-space park,' that's still larger than Piedmont Park in Atlanta and we're a much smaller city than Atlanta. So we think there's just great opportunity for reusing the buildings."
Howard says Raleigh should consider leasing the buildings as commercial or residential spaces. A Raleigh committee recommended hiring a preservationist to survey the property last week. There’s more than 1 million square feet of buildings at Dorothea Dix.