The city's newest park over at 45 Walnut St. is now open to the public. And by any standard, the final product is a complete transformation of the overgrown, trash-strewn vacant lot that used to sit there.
City officials readily labeled it an "eyesore" in the downtown, the polluted lot (a brownfield) still a visible reminder of the tanning business that once operated there more than 20 years ago.
The new recreational spot is offically called East End Peabody Veterans Memorial Park, in tribute to the numerous war veterans who have lived in that part of the city.
Community Development Director Karen Sawyer says an official grand opening or ribbon cutting ceremony may be held in the spring. The last detail that still needs to be added to the park is a plaque declaring the official name, Sawyer said.
The plaque will be installed on a large rock that, for now, has the name etched into one side.
The park is readily accessible from Walnut Street and a wooden ramp system was installed in the rear corner of the lot to connect to Wallis Street, along with a viewing deck to just stay a while and enjoy the scenery.
Both Mayor Ted Bettencourt and his predecessor Michael Bonfanti have touted the project as a key piece in the effort to revitalize Downtown Peabody.
Scroll through the photo gallery here or stop by and check it out yourself if you're in the area.
There are benches, a couple tables with weather-proof game board installed, a walking path around the perimeter of the park, a handicap accessible ramp and the viewing deck.