A public ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 31 for Marietta’s Elizabeth Porter Park at 370 Montgomery St., Marietta. This ceremony by the Marietta City Council and staff will signify not only the park’s opening to the public but also the official unveiling of the park’s mural and statue.
Until 2015, this site was the former home of the Elizabeth Porter Recreation Center, also known as “the Canteen,” serving members of Marietta’s “Baptist Town” Community. Before then, the site originally was developed in the 1940s during a citizen-led and funded initiative to create an African-American hospital for Cobb County residents named Cobb County Cooperative Negro Hospital.
The hospital was closed following the 1950 opening of Kennestone Hospital which was integrated. In September 2015, the planning committee was formed “to capture the history of the Elizabeth Porter Hospital/Recreation Center” with the planning installation of artistic pieces within the park.
The 130-foot mural depicts the history of the site and surrounding neighborhood over time. The statue shows former recreation center manager and park namesake, Elizabeth Porter, standing with two children by her side and reflecting her 22 years of service.
In June 2017, Integrated Construction and Nobility was hired for $3,269,780 as the general contractor by the Marietta City Council to develop the park near the intersection of the North Marietta Parkway and Allgood Road.
This fee did not include the public mural, technology, irrigation, furnishings, a five percent contingency of $163,489, a splash pad by Vortex for $612,255 and $400,000 for Gravity Rail and XGEN playgrounds by Miracle Recreation Equipment Company.