Gipson Play Plaza

Lake Wheeler Road landscaping rendering for Plaza & Play

Gipson Play Plaza Groundbreaking event

In summer 2022, the City celebrated the groundbreaking for the Gipson Play Plaza – an inviting and inspiring public space for all ages with one of a kind play spaces, works of art, a civic plaza, fountains, and gardens. Amazing play features include a sensory maze, water play mountain, swing terrace, and adventure playground. A picnic grove will offer areas to cook out and recharge with family and friends. You'll also be able to get a snack and pull up a rocking chair at the repurposed historic House of Many Porches.

The Gipson Play Plaza is made possible in part by a generous $10 million gift from Pat and Tom Gipson. Construction is scheduled to start in fall 2022 and take two and a half years.

Gipson Play Plaza site plan - February 2022



Construction of the Gipson Play Plaza is scheduled to commence the week of October 17, 2022 beginning with construction fencing being installed and contractor trailers moving on-site.  Construction is anticipated to take 27-months.

Check out the live feed of the progress below.

The 18.5-acre Gipson Play Plaza construction site includes the former hospital athletic field, area behind Brown, Clark, and Broughton Buildings, and an area at the top of Harvey Hill. Some roads and parking will no longer be accessible. Please see the map below for more information. 

View a larger PDF of the Construction Impact Maps.


Gipson Play Plaza Construction Impact Map

Picnic Grove rendering for Plaza & Play

Project Phases

  1. Pre-Design Services 
  2. Schematic Design 
  3. Design Development 
  4. Construction Documentation   
  5. Construction    <--- WE ARE HERE

NC Destination Play rendering for Plaza & Play

Project Contact

Kate Pearce – Planning Supervisor 


Plaza & Play sand bowl play area rendering


Project Documents

View Gipson Play Plaza presentations and documents from public meetings and the design process.

Project Overview

September 2020 - Plaza & Play Executive Summary

Public Meeting #1

October 7, 2020 - Presentation

Virtual Meeting Recording

Project Reports

December 2020 - Plaza & Play Engagement Report 1

Public Meeting #2

January 19, 2021 - Presentation

Virtual Meeting Recording

Public Meeting #3

July 13, 2021 - Opening Presentation + Renderings

In-Person Meeting Recording

Other Presentations 

Project update presentations are given at City Council, Dix Park Leadership Committee and Dix Park Community Committee meetings. City of Raleigh Public Meeting Agendas, Presentations and Minutes are available using the city's paperless system. In BoardDocs, click the icon in the top right corner to select the committee you are looking for to view meeting materials.


Lake Wheeler Road Landscape and Paths design rendering

Adjacent City of Raleigh Projects

Dix Area Edge Study

The Dix Edge Area Study explored affordable housing, public transportation, and other growth factors near the park. Planning and Development Services Department at the City of Raleigh led the Dix Edge Area Study.  Final policy recommendations were delivered City Council in spring 2022 and the draft report is available to view.

Lake Wheeler Road Improvement Project

Initiated through the Dix Edge Area Study, the Lake Wheeler Road Improvement Project creates a more accessible and safer roadway for all along the section of Lake Wheeler situated between the Fuller Heights neighborhood and Dix Park, from South Saunders Street to Maywood Avenue. This fall, the City of Raleigh project team, led by Engineering Services and Transportation Departments, will be sharing a detailed design plan incorporating recent public feedback.