Plaza & Play

Lake Wheeler Road landscaping rendering for Plaza & Play

After years of planning, our city's extraordinary opportunity to create one of the most spectacular public spaces in the country begins with our first project, the Dix Park Plaza & Play.

The Plaza & Play project takes the concepts and elements developed in the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan to the next level through the design process.  Key to the success of the project is engagement with the community. 

City of Raleigh and the design team, led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), invite you to the third and final public meeting for the Plaza & Play project! Get up close to see how public feedback from public meetings, focus groups, and online engagement has been incorporated into this exciting design.


Plaza & Play graphic site plan June 2021

Project Description

The Plaza & Play is approximately 18 acres and sits on the southern edge of the park and will become the main entrance to Dix Park along Lake Wheeler Road, welcoming visitors travelling from around the City and across the State. 

As described in the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan, the Plaza & Play aspires to be an inviting and inspiring public space for all ages with one of a kind play spaces, a civic plaza, fountains, gardens, and areas to cookout and relax with family and friends.  The history of the site will come alive through public art, interpretive signage, and a rehabilitated historic house.  

Waterfall Fountain rendering for Plaza & Play

Public Engagement

Public engagement included 3 Public Meetings, surveys, focus groups, and other activities to share information and gather feedback from the community. 

Watch Public Meeting #3

On Tuesday, June 13, 2021, Dix Park held the third and final public meeting for Plaza & Play with an exciting design reveal at the newly renovated Chapel Event Center.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates led two presentations around their incredible 13-foot 3D model of the design for Plaza & Play. Watch the recordings of those presentations in this video and share your feedback online below. 



Project Documents

View Plaza & Play 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

Project Reports

December 2020 - Plaza & Play Engagement Report 1

Public Meeting #2

January 19, 2021 - Presentation

Public Meeting #3

July 13, 2021 - Opening Presentation + Renderings

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.


Picnic Grove rendering for Plaza & Play

Project Phases + Timeline

  1. Pre-Design Services 
  2. Schematic Design (SD) 
  3. Design Development (DD) - WE ARE HERE
  4. Construction Documentation (CD)

NC Destination Play rendering for Plaza & Play

Project Program

Program is the collection of activities that people do at the park. Planning and design for Plaza & Play program will be organized by the following themes as defined by the Master Plan:

  • Wellness and Play
  • Arts and Culture
  • Food and Community
  • Gardens and Ecology
  • History and Reflection
  • Park Support


Plaza & Play sand bowl play area rendering

Project Contact

Grayson Maughan – Senior Park Planner, Project Manager

Dix Area Edge Study

The Dix Edge Area Study is exploring affordable housing, public transportation, and other growth factors near the park. 

Matthew Klem - Senior Planner

Fabian Rodriguez - Hablo Español!
Community Relations Analyst