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Paul Thorpe Jr. Park/Lemon Ave. grand re-opening set for March 6

Post Date:02/28/2020 9:20 AM

Contact:  Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager   941-263-6369                 

Sarasota, FL:  The community is invited to a block party to celebrate the grand re-opening of Paul Thorpe Jr. Park and Lemon Avenue on Friday, March 6, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Paul Thorpe Jr. Park, 135 S. Pineapple Avenue.  The free event will feature live music, refreshments and guided tours of the improvements in the park and along Lemon Avenue. Paul Thorpe Park

The block party will begin in Paul Thorpe Jr. Park and extend onto Lemon Avenue between State Street and Pineapple Avenue, which will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic during the event.

Started in May 2019, the Lemon Avenue Streetscape project was designed to create a more pedestrian-friendly experience in downtown Sarasota.  From Main Street south to Pineapple Avenue, the existing roadway, sidewalks and curbs were removed and replaced with decorative brick pavers, new landscaping and streetlights.  Medallions also were handcrafted in three intersections along Lemon Avenue: Main Street, State Street and Pineapple Avenue.

“These improvements enhance the pedestrian experience and provide a sense of place in downtown,” said Planning Director Steve Cover.  “This environment will attract people who want to stroll, shop, eat and simply enjoy the experience of being in a pedestrian-friendly downtown.  That was the vision when the Lemon Avenue Streetscape was first conceptualized. Now that it’s complete this really helps make downtown Sarasota that much more special, a place people want to be.”     

Paul Thorpe Jr. Park was modernized with the installation of pavers, additional trees, seating areas and an impressive trellis, where visitors can walk under flowering vines. The whimsical mermaid fountain remains a focal point of the park.

“This park is a perfect tribute to Paul Thorpe, known as ‘Mr. Downtown,’ said City Manager Tom Barwin.  “It is guaranteed to become a popular gathering area for residents and visitors to the Farmers Market or downtown employees seeking a place to enjoy being outside.  Paul would be truly excited about this area being enlivened and transformed into a downtown destination for all.  We thank everyone involved with this gorgeous project.”  

City staff worked closely with downtown businesses to minimize construction impacts.  Staff also coordinated construction timing with The Mark, a new mixed-use development at Lemon Avenue and State Street.  As part of the grand re-opening celebration, The Mark’s public art contribution will be formally unveiled.  

Complimentary light refreshments will be provided by Brick’s Smoked Meats and the Sarasota Farmers Market.  The block party is also sponsored by Jon F. Swift Construction and Kolter Urban LLC.


About the City of Sarasota:  Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the 18th Best Place to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles.  Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov


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