A wonderful piece of graffiti has garnered some media attention for the stream restoration project along Smallwood Drive just below Cameron Village. Cameron Village was the first shopping center in the Southeast, and when Willie York built it he diverted, ditched and straightened the headswaters of Pigeon House Branch, which gather between Cameron Village and the Raleigh Apartments. The creek takes a straight shot right under Clarke Avenue into Edna Metz Wells Park, and after heavy rains the water, which gathers from a large section of the Oberlin Road ridge of Civil War fame, would roar through the tiny park, eroding and scouring and backwashing debris into the tributary water piped down from the glade along Forest Street above the park. The City of Raleigh is working on a general rehabilitation plan for Pigeon House Branch, and the Smallwood project, which is pretty much finished, is part of that. Apparently they are going to remove some invasive species before doing final plantings, both on Smallwood and in Edna Metz, in the fall.
From the main approach, the park looks beseiged.. But as you will see below, in the interior, all is well. This spot is a real haven in Central Raleigh, and was a mainstay for my young children and me in the nineties.
The Smallwood St. project involved using large boulders and some nice terraces to slow down and complicate the path of the water.
The media interest, started by a nice post from Goodnight, Raleigh, centers on a graffiti portrait of Edie Sedgewick, Andy Warhol’s muse, painted on the culvert where Pigeon House enters Edna Metz. My picture of the scene is below.
Josh Shaffer called me and asked about the construction and Ena Metz, but never specifically mentioned the graffiti. I’m pretty sure they won’t scrape it off as part of the re-hab project, but I can’t really say for sure. Hope not. It is indeed a nice harmless piece of art. The figure says “De,” which is the word for power in Taoist philosophy. I appreciate Josh’s feature of it and the park, as well as his kind words for my work. And thanks as always to John Morris and his compadres over at another of Raleigh’s “splendid blogs!”