Lee Park is a Charlottesville City Park, centrally located in downtown Charlottesville, and home to many festivals.
The city's comprehensive plan classifies Lee Park as an 'urban' park. The park is often used for festivals and music performances. The western side of the park is used as seating space for the Garage.
The park was established in 1918 on land donated to the city by Paul Goodloe McIntire. McIntire also donated the statue of Robert E. Lee that is the centerpiece of the park. It was unveiled on May 21, 1924 during a Confederate reunion.
At the 2012 Virginia Festival of the Book, City Councilor Kristin Szakos raised questions over whether the Robert E. Lee statue in the park should be removed out of a concern it celebrates the state's Confederate past. However, her question was met with considerable backlash from the community, who view the statue as an important part of history.
The group Occupy Charlottesville began a protest campaign in mid-October 2011 which involved setting up tents to establish a permanent presence in the park. The city granted a series of permits allowing the occupation to continue and the current permit expired on November 24, 2011. The ongoing occupation prompted questions from Jefferson Area Tea Party chair Carole Thorpe regarding whether the city showed favoritism by granting the group a permit. The city evicted protestors on November 30, 2011 and 18 people were arrested.
Local Voices, Local History
|VIDEO CREDITS: Narrated by Preston Coiner;|
Graphic design: Jen Fleischer; Project Manager: Kristin Rourke.
- Web. Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 10, City of Charlottesville, Charlottesville, Virginia, retrieved October 19, 2010.
- Web. Lee Park, audiotourcville, audiotourcville, July 25, 2011, retrieved August 19, 2011.
- Web. Historian talks Civil War as councilor wonders if statues should be torn down, Ted Strong, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, March 22, 2012, retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Web. Szakos decries response to statue comments, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Web. City's Civil War statues remind us of our past, Daily Progress, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, March 27, 2012, retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Web. Occupiers face balancing act with some who've joined in, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, November 5, 2011, retrieved November 7, 2011.
- Web. Jefferson Area Tea Party chair suspicious of Councilor Brown comment, Brendan Fitzgerald, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, October 18, 2011, retrieved November 7, 2011.
- Web. Officials hear 'death knell' of Occupy Charlottesville, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, December 1, 2011, retrieved December 5, 2011.