Save Upper Courthouse Hill Park
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As concerned residents of Janesville's Courthouse Hill Historic District, we are formally requesting all parties STOP the consideration of using any green space for a parking lot in the Upper Courthouse Park! As "Wisconsin's Park Place", Janesville should preserve ANY AND ALL existing parks, green spaces, and original topography." This park has always been used as a public open space and was the visual focus of the surrounding residences from the time of their construction. The rolling topography of the park appears to be relatively unaltered from the time of settlement " (The Janesville Historic Commission Guidebook, 1986, first edition).
The Upper Courthouse Park not only has historical significance as the park is immediately adjacent to the Timothy Jackman house where the first Wisconsin State Fair was held in 1851—it likewise has topographical significance as an unaltered exemplar of original Wisconsin landform features. Many local historians and Janesville residents consider the park's space to be the very heart of the city. Our parks are an asset to the city and its residents. This park is a buffer from the commercial aspect of the downtown area and acts as a visual reprieve from the existing courthouse's concrete parking lot. The historic Courthouse Hill District holds nearly 20% of all historic homes I'm state of Wisconsin. This historically significant area of our city is an undervalued asset to Janesville and its residents—please work with us to preserve it.
Our alternative solution is simple and would cost approximately $500,000 as opposed to the current $7.8 million proposal! Repair and maintain the existing underground and above ground parking ramp(s) and lots, if necessary, install additional security cameras, have courthouse employees swipe into designated doors with swipe cards, and install proper signage to alert employees and visitors to the new changes. There is AMPLE PARKING AVAILABLE. On the busiest of days, only 55 of the existing 145 parking spaces had vehicles parked in them! Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.
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