CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF)-- Only long-time Chattanoogans will remember that one of the busiest parks in the city was on a piece of ground behind Erlanger Hospital.
Lincoln Park holds special memories for many, but it may become part of an extension of Central avenue to Amnicola Highway.
Residents are determined to persuade the city to change its plans.
VANNICE HUGHLEY, PRESIDENT, LINCOLN PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOC. " The negro league..Jackie Robinson, Willie Mayes, they all played out there in the Negro League in the park..that's history just wiped away."
As a girl, Vannice Hughley played in Lincoln Park. She says it was one of the few parks that blacks could use in the 40's and 50's.
In recent years it was deeded to Erlanger Hospital, which has used the big swimming pool and a ballfield for storage facilities. It has also built a new nursery on that property.
Now...there are plans to expand Central avenue to Amnicola through what remains of the park.
VANNICE HUGHLEY "What I want to see happen is..what's left of lincoln Park preserved. Make it an African American museum ....Just a landmark."
District 8 city councilman Moses Freeman says he also spent much of his youth in Lincoln Park.
MOSES FREEMAN, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, DISTRICT 8 "My position is..that first of all we do need to talk to the people in the neighborhood. Second of all, we need to assure them that they are not going to encrouch upon that neighborhood..or the park for that matter. So the effort to save the park is an effort to save the whole neighborhood".
The councilman says that new road could be directed to Blackford Street and over to Riverside Drive.
MOSES FREEMAN, COUNCIL MEMBER "I think we're going to able to work things out as far as the direction of the road...to save that park...we will be working to do that. After that we want to work with Erlanger Hospital who is the owner of the park to see if we can get them to be cooperative neighbors and partners as they had pledged to do a few years ago."
The mayor's office pledged this week to include Lincoln Park residents in making any final decision of the Central Avenue extension.
Erlanger Hospital, which has a new administration in place, has not commented on its plans, if any, for Lincoln Park.