Pickering Associates has been working in tandem with the City of Marietta to develop a plan to restore and stabilize the location of the former Becky Thatcher Riverboat Restaurant site and the old Lock One area along the Muskingum River near the Goose Run outfall.

The City intends to address riverbank stabilization concerns and expose the old lock walls as part of this initial design study. The project aims to simplify maintenance and add functionality for the community by incorporating improvements such as a new kayak/canoe dock, ADA accessibility, picnic areas and native landscaping. The site is an integral, complex part of the downtown community and impacts the City Administration, local businesses and tourism in a variety of ways.

Because of the encompassing effect the project will have, the team will consult with multiple stakeholder groups during this conceptual stage of the project to gather pertinent thoughts and suggestions from a wide variety of civil interest groups, businesses and tourism organizations. Several design options will be generated and reviewed by these participants before final renderings are created and presented to the city for consideration as they prepare for the detailed design process during the next phase of the project.

“I have lived in Marietta for nearly forty years and have seen many changes in our downtown area. As a walker, I am a frequent user of the river trail and have enjoyed the opportunity to observe trees, flowers, birds, and pollinating insects while running errands, taking a nature break without having to get in the car and leave town,” said Rebecca Philips, a Marietta resident and volunteer with the Riverbanks Restoration Committee.

“Before last fall’s removal of most trees and native forbs, the Lock One area near the Armory and Goose Run had become something of a mini-haven for butterflies and migrating birds. The redesign project gives us an opportunity to add an outdoor entertainment venue to an easily-accessible part of downtown while using landscape choices to beautify the area, increase wildlife friendliness, and add outdoor education opportunities for children and adults,” she said. “This public space could become one of the jewels of Marietta.”

Downtown Marietta’s history of investing in improvements along Front Street paired with a renewed focus on updating public parks and recreational areas makes this project stand out as an ideal candidate for bringing as many interested parties together as feasible. The City’s 2020 Enrich Marietta Downtown Plan further amplifies this project’s potential by offering general guidance for nearby areas adjacent to the old Lock One site. These adjacent project improvement case studies look at maintenance considerations, multimodal (pedestrian/bike/boat/bus) connectivity, broader riverfront enhancements and even potential matching funds/financing options available to the City. Many of these key findings can be translated from those nearby opportunity sites directly into this restoration and stabilization project area.

“The Marietta Tree Commission looks forward to working with concerned stakeholders, design/consulting firms/city administrators and the general public in designing a multi-purpose park, along the Muskingum River, for all residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Joyce Robinson, a member of Marietta’s Tree Commission.

Long-term, the project will be executed in multiple design and construction phases as funding becomes available with the ultimate goal of creating a signature attraction that benefits the entire community, residents and visitors alike.

Pickering Associates is a well-aligned team of professional architects, engineers, and surveyors with a diverse depth and breadth of knowledge. Established in 1988, Pickering has been a member of the community for more than 30 years, Pickering Associates was founded as an engineering company that has developed into an integrated architecture, engineering and surveying firm providing services to education, government, healthcare, industrial, oil & gas and private sector clients.

For more information about Pickering Associates, please visit www.pickeringusa.com.