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Preservation Groups Want to Protect Dix Hospital

Preservation groups in Raleigh say the city should protect the historic buildings on the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus. The city council plans to convert the property into a public park. The state leased the land to Raleigh last month for $68 million over 75 years. But the Raleigh City Council has yet to create a master plan for the future park. Myrick Howard is the president of Preservation North Carolina:

"Even if you do the math and say, 'Well, there's 225 acres of land left to do with as an open-space park,' that's still larger than Piedmont Park in Atlanta and we're a much smaller city than Atlanta. So we think there's just great opportunity for reusing the buildings."

Howard says Raleigh should consider leasing the buildings as commercial or residential spaces.  A Raleigh committee recommended  hiring a preservationist to survey the property last week. There’s more than 1 million square feet of buildings at Dorothea Dix.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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