Alley gaining old-fashioned look
The alleyways along the north side of Fourth Street downtown are disappearing. But at least in one of these empty spaces, a new park is on the way.
Richard Smith, owner of the building at 514 E. Fourth St., where his accounting office is, and his wife, Nancy, have already started working on turning the alley beside his building into a pass-through park.
Nancy Smith, publisher of Back in Thyme, a quarterly journal about historical plants, and a gardener herself at the family home near Linwood, said she's excited about creating the park in downtown Tonganoxie.
"We want to create a place in time," Smith said of the 100-by-15-foot area. "And enclosing both ends of the park will help people have a sense that they're in a special place."
City administrator Chris Eppley said, because the alley is frequently used as a walk-through area to get to the library from Fourth Street, the city agreed to put a sidewalk in the alley.
"In return, they are going to landscape that area," Eppley said. As a historical gardener, Nancy Smith said the dr of the garden will go along with her husband's 1910 building.
Plantings will include a hedge of dwarf lilacs. Four Japanese pagoda trees will line the east side of the park.
Near the northernmost tree Smith plans a park bench and a streetlamp, which she said will most likely be a smaller version of the downtown's new streetlights.
Smith said she and her husband, as well as possibly some private donors, will fund the rest of the renovation.