Historic Frederick, Md., gets downtown waterfront park

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FREDERICK, Md. -- Frederick is known for clustered spires of centuries-old churches, and a historic district that boasts numerous 18th- and 19th-century buildings.

Bill Green, The Associated Press
The $10.2 million Carroll Creek Linear Park in downtown Frederick. The park has ornate brick paths, fountains and an amphitheater that seats between 350 and 400 people.
Click photo for larger image.

But now the city has a 21st-century attraction to help visitors enjoy the historic streetscapes nearby: Carroll Creek Park, a three-quarter-mile stretch of walkway.

The park, conceived 28 years ago, opened in late June. It features a brick-lined promenade, newly planted trees, a 400-seat amphitheater and a pergola for parties and picnics. Restaurants, shops, offices and homes are starting to open along both banks on land once occupied by dank factories. A well-known local Mexican eatery, La Paz, has moved from a hidden corner of downtown to a prominent place near the park's center.

A kayak livery is scheduled to open, and paddlers can pass beneath three new pedestrian bridges -- including an unusual single-column suspension bridge -- and several traffic bridges. The older spans include the meticulously hand-painted Community Bridge, a renowned piece of public art that has been Carroll Creek's main attraction since muralist William Cochran finished it in 1998.

The park was made possible by a $60 million flood-control project that tamed the Carroll Creek in 1993, putting the creek safely underground, according to The Frederick News-Post. Today visitors see a waist-deep waterway in a 1.3-mile manmade channel with concrete banks 40 feet wide.

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