Clockwise from left: 2018 conceptual rendering by Hemmler + Camayd Architects and Barry Isett & Associates; bird’s eye view of the parcel undergoing Phase One cleanup in 2016; dedication of park following Phase One cleanup.
A symbol of the downtown’s past commercial vitality, the historic Leader Department Store--vacant for nearly two decades--was aquired by the City of Hazleton in 2011 and soon after demolished to make way for a parking garage.
In 2015 the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress initaited a Strategic Plan for revitalization and developed alternative plans for a new city park. Envisioned to accomodate community events and complement the newly planned City Arts Center adjacent to the property, the park underwent Phase One remediation in 2016.
Phase Two development is planned for the summer of 2020, which will result in a new civic plaza and special event lawn.
This $850,000 renovation project is being funded with several grants, including Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Local Share and Greenways Trails and Recreation grants, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant, Pennsylvania Office of the Budget Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, a Community Development Block Grant, and private funds from Greater Hazleton CAN DO and the CAN DO Community Foundation, after whom the Park is to be named.