McIntire Park

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McIntire Park is a Charlottesville park named for its benefactor, Paul Goodloe McIntire, who donated the land. McIntire intended for the park to be reserved for white citizens only and donated land for Washington Park to be reserved for African-Americans. [1][citation needed]

It is home to the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial.

McIntire Park at Sunrise



McIntire park is home to

  • walking trails
  • skate park
  • children's playground
  • softball fields
  • a baseball field
  • picnic shelters
  • YMCA

Former amenities

  • a golf course
  • wading pool


A trial experiment with lighted of tennis courts took place in 1940. The Young Men's Business Club paid for the endeavor. [2]


McIntire Park is traditionally home to the annual Dogwood Festival carnival and the July Fourth fireworks display.

21st century evolution

Impacts from John Warner Parkway

The city's portion of the John Warner Parkway runs along the eastern edge of McIntire Park. The Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park pursued a series of lawsuits to stop construction, including one against the Federal Highway Administration which was heard on April 25, 2012.[3] On May 29, 2012, Judge Norman K. Moon dismissed the case against the FHWA, allowing the project to proceed.[4]


McIntire Park was home to a nine-hole golf course that was to have been disrupted or eliminated by Parkway construction. The group Save McIntire Golf advocated for retention of the course in some form because it was home to the First Tee of Charlottesville, a program that sought to educate children about golf and leadership. Golf activities ceased by the end of 2015. [5] That was a year ahead of schedule. [6]

Botanical Gardens

McIntire Botanical Garden, a non-profit group, is creating a botanical garden in the east end of the park in areas that have been home to the municipal golf course. However, they are seeking a new name. [citation needed]


The Piedmont Family YMCA constructed a fitness and aquatic center in the western half of the park. A group called the McIntire Park Preservation Committee had formed to try to prevent this construction, or at least to ensure that the construction does not eliminate two softball fields at the park.

The project was stalled for many years pending resolution of a Virginia Supreme Court case that claimed Charlottesville and Albemarle County broke Virginia's procurement laws by not allowing private companies to submit a request for proposals to operate an aquatic facility on city-owned land. [7] [8] The court heard the case in the spring of 2012 and threw out the case in January 2014. [citation needed]

Financing was secured in late 2015 allowing the project to break ground.

Skate Park

Skate park opened in 2019.

The Grove

Fund-raising is underway for a memorial garden that will commemorate those who have won the Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award. The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and a citizens group. They had raised nearly half the $600,000 for the project, which will see a stone terrace around a grove of decades-old oak trees. [9]

Past development

The construction of the U.S. Route 250 bypass ran through the park, with one section of the old park becoming what is now Greenleaf Park. Another former section, at the southeast end of McIntire Road near the rescue squad, initially became tennis courts and is now the Charlottesville Skateboard Park.

Eastern side master plan

As construction of the parkway loomed, the city conducted a master plan for the eastern side of the park. Council discussed the matter on February 6, 2012. [10]

In September 2012, City Council adopted a master plan for eastern side of the park. [11] That process began in the fall of 2011 with three public meetings. More public meetings have been held in 2012[12]. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board held a public hearing in March 2012. [13]

The Final Master Plan Report outlines planned changes to the park to be adopted, including the development of a trail and bike system. In addition, the Charlottesville Skateboard Park was relocated to the southwest side of the park, where currently there is parking for the golf course. The golf course itself was to remain open initially, but was to have reverted to passive use by the end of 2016. Upon its reversion to passive use, portions of the golf course may also be used for the expansion of the botanical gardens.

The wading pool was closed permanently following the conclusion of the 2013 season.[14]

The city hired multinational design corporation Stantec and Line + Grade to construct a skate park concept and Baltimore-based Mahan-Rykiel to design the park plan. [6] The skate park and the pedestrian bridge were officially opened on April 20, 2019. [15]

External links

McIntire Park on City website


  1. Web. HISTORY OF WASHINGTON PARK, City of Charlottesville, retrieved March 23, 2016.
  2. Web. Tennis Courts To Be Lighted at McIntire, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, August 9, 1940, retrieved August 9, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. August 9, 1940 page 8.
  3. Web. Parkway interchange awaits result of federal lawsuit, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 26, 2012, retrieved February 28, 2012.
  4. Web. Judge Moon rules against Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park; Parkway Interchange to proceed, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 29, 2012, retrieved June 25, 2012.
  5. Web. Council briefed on city parks and recreation department plans, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 9, 2016, retrieved December 27, 2016.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Web. Public gives input on new McIntire Park design, Reuben Jones, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 4, 2014, retrieved December 27, 2014.
  7. Web. Fitness group sues Albemarle and Charlottesville over YMCA, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 13, 2010, retrieved January 12, 2011.
  8. Web. VA Supreme Court to hear YMCA case of fitness clubs vs. Albemarle, Brian Wheeler, Charlottesvillee Tomorrow, August 22, 2011, retrieved August 23, 2011.
  9. Web. Fundraising for McIntire Park civic memorial plaza approaches halfway point, Bryan McKenzie, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, December 15, 2019, retrieved December 23, 2019. Print. December 16, 2019 page A1.
  10. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, February 6, 2012.
  11. Web. Golf to leave McIntire sooner; Recreational fields still at issue, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, September 4, 2012, retrieved May 20, 2013.
  12. Web. McIntire Park Planning, official website, City of Charlottesville, retrieved 8 Dec 2011.
  13. Web. McIntire Park planning process continues, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 29, 2012, retrieved June 28, 2020.
  14. Web. A Community Guided Park Master Plan for McIntire Park East Side, Charlottesville Parks & Recreation, June 20, 2012, retrieved July 16, 2012.
  15. Web. Pedestrian railroad crossing in McIntire Park moving forward, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 26, 2017, retrieved December 27, 2017.