KNOXVILLE - Mayor Madeline Rogero and other Knoxville leaders gathered at Fort Dickerson Park to cut the ribbon on a new entrance to the park.
The city completed construction the the Fort Dickerson Gateway at the Chapman Highway entrance to the park in April.
The new gateway includes a two-story stone veneer wall, 15-foot stone pillars framing the entrance, and a grassy lawn surrounded by a circle of stones. The entrance is also has a covered KAT bus stop and accessible sidewalks leading into the park.
The project started in 2016 to complement a $1.4 million road project that finished in 2015, which gave the Chapman Highway entrance to the park a traffic light, crosswalks, and improved the park entry road.
The Aslan Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded in 1994, invested $1.65 million to purchase the property where the gateway stands, which was formerly a car repair shop.
Andrea Bailey Cox, the executive director of the Alsan Foundation, said the city approached her with the project idea.
"We focus on enhancing the natural beauty as well as the cultural assets of Knoxville, and so this was a perfect project for us," Cox said.
Cox said her organization is currently talking with the city to possibly create another entrance to the park at Quarry Lake.
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