Lake Park, NC

A Community For All Seasons

History of Lake Park

The Village of Lake Park is a hybrid "Traditional Neighborhood Development" or TND and conventional planning.  The guidelines are focused on practical uses of open areas and placing buildings and spaces in a manner that invites people to spend more time outdoors.  The movement has also been called "neo-traditionalism," the "village concept," and the "New Urbanism."

The TND concept focuses on smaller front yards, many with rear garages, bringing front porches closer to the street so that the rocking chair is within easy speaking distance with pedestrians on street sidewalks.  A street pattern with fewer cul-de-sacs offers more traffic options, reducing congestion and the dangerous conflict between cars and pedestrians.  Streets become attractive spaces and more "pedestrian friendly."  In short the TND creates a community patterned much like early America.  It is a concept that is gradually reducing dependence on dense urban centers and heavy automobile use.

The Village of Lake Park has a Town Center with a rigid TND grid pattern anchored at each end by a strong municipal or social feature.  One end would have a clocktower plaza and community center overlooking a village green.  The other end would have a church with a traditional steeple overlooking an assisted living neighborhood or condominiums. These anchors would be visible to each other with possibly shops, professional offices and medical facilities stretching between the two, forming a unique core.

On each side of the Town Center would be old style village type row houses, a school and other social and retail features typical of a "downtown."  Decorative street lights, brick crosswalks and accents such as landscaped islands and outdoor benches "furnish" the streets and Town Center.  The village green, or town square would be highlighted by an entertainment gazebo and a Christmas Tree.  Seasonal amenities such as banners and community wide Christmas lights add a special ambiance.

As the community spread outwardly from the Town Center, TND intensity is allowed to diminish as the outer edges become more typical of traditional subdivisions  But, they are still connected with pedestrian sidewalks and accented by numerous small parks, ponds, monuments, water features and landscaping.  The streets would have sidewalks and street lights.  Every part of the village would be within a short walk to a rest area and just 10 minutes from the Town Center.

The first neighborhoods were Versailles, Alden, Russell Park and Kenmore.  The Town Center began with the clocktower plaza and the initial corner of the village green.  This feature, the single anchoring highlight that really identifies Lake Park, was completed in April, 1991.  Two months later, the first resident moved into Kenmore.  

The first of many parks was established and the town square expanded in 1992.  The "Village Type" homes also started in 1992.  In July 1993 the Lake Park Community Center was begun and dedicated the next May. Also in 1993, Faith United Methodist Church was  founded along with construction of the first homes in the Chvrchill neighborhood.

In 1994, the Village of Lake Park received its charter for the State of North Carolina.  By 1996 development had begun on Lake Charles and NorthGate, providing a mixture of homesites a well as the creation of Lake Park's north entry.  In 1997, the bronze sculpture of a child flying a kite was dedicated and in 1998 a 35 foot granite obelisk anchoring Howard Circle was dedicated.  The development of Ashley Hall followed NorthGate as the first two development plans in North Carolina to include a traffic circle at the intersection of two main streets.  Howard Circle is named in honor of Lake Park's first Mayor, Scott Howard.  It included a time capsule that will be opened in 2023.





Village of Lake Park, NC