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NEWPORT – A proposed public-park redesign by the architect of the Vietnam memorial in Washington has prompted a backlash among some residents who argue it wouldn’t fit with the city’s historic character, The Associated Press reported.
The Newport City Council is expected to vote in December on whether to allow the Newport Restoration Foundation to redo Queen Anne Square with a design by Maya Lin that introduces a fountain and several stone foundations that would serve as outdoor “meeting rooms,” the AP said.
The plans, which were first unveiled in June, have been called a “travesty” by one city councilor.
Other people have criticized things such as the comfort of sitting on stone rather than, say, a bench – though there’s nowhere to sit in the park now except the grass – as well as the size of the trees proposed for planting.
A group calling itself Citizens for Queen Anne Square Park formed to convince the council to leave the park as is. Some residents have called for a referendum on the issue. To date, the council has held one public workshop on the redesign, with a second planned in December.
Pieter Roos, executive director of the Newport Restoration Foundation, told the AP that opponents are a minority vocal beyond its size. The redesign will enhance a space that’s been in decline for years, Roos said. •