Installation of Holding Park Inclusive Playground set to begin
In February 2023, crews are scheduled to begin installing an inclusive playground at Holding Park. Upon completion, the new playground will feature:
Fully ramped playground structures that offer ease of access for people of all mobility ranges
Multiple sensory experiences, including tactile, visual, auditory, spatial & vestibular – these items include play panels, rockers, swings, spinners, slides, and balance challenges
Seating and shade for parent relaxation
Play Ensemble Outdoor musical equipment
MOVMNT – accessible interactive game piece
Serenity Spot - fort-like environment with a variety of activities that can be calming and allow the expression of stimming behaviors
Brava Universal Swing – a unique way to experience swinging and rocking movements
Volito Swing – disc seat that allows the whole group to swing together
AirVenture Glider – a stand up swing that thrills all ages
Inclusive Orbit Spinner – a multi user, zero entry merry-go round
Weather permitting, the work is expected to be completed by summer 2023.
This project is supported by a grant from US Treasury as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds award totaling $14.5 million. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/TOWF_ARPA.
Located at 133 W. Owen Ave., Holding Park is the site of the Wake Forest Community House and Holding Park Aquatic Center. The five-acre park features a children's playground, picnic tables, charcoal grills, and a basketball court.
Amenities and Features
- five-acre site
- houses the Wake Forest Community House
- site of Holding Park Aquatic Center
- inclusive playground coming in 2023!
- rain garden
- picnic tables
- charcoal grills
- basketball court
Park is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Smoking is limited to parking areas only.
Use of personal grills (gas and/or charcoal) is prohibited.
Dogs must be on a leash. Also, please clean up after your dog. Dog waste receptacles and bags are provided.
Holding Park at 133 W. Owen Avenue was named for 5 acres of land donated by Dr. Solomon Pace Holding (1871-1951) a Wake Forest Physician and his wife, Eva Dunn Holding. The land begins at the corner of S. Main and W. Owen Streets and extends west along Owen. It was developed in several stages. The first being the building of the Community House from 1938 - 1942. Although the land was provided by Dr Holding, the funds for the building came from President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Community House has been used continuously for public and private gatherings and is listed as a contributing building in the Wake Forest National Register Historic District. The original 1940s swimming pool was reconfigured in the 1970s and recently replaced by the Holding Park Aquatic Center in 2017. The large stone retaining wall and stairs on the south side of the pool are the original 1940s diving board platform.
Per oral history there was a building on the Holding property that was used during World War II to machine parts for the Army’s tanks. This building was sited in the playground area. New playground equipment was installed in 2001.
The original Holding house on the southwest corner of Main & Owen was demolished
in the 1950’s and the hillside used for concerts in the park in the 1950s and 1960s. A Garden was started but not completed until 2020 when the Neuse River Hawks created a Butterfly Pollinator Garden with over seventy varieties of plants, many of which were donated by Wake Forest citizens.
In addition, Zua Pace Mitchell Davis who lived in the brick home immediately to the south of the Holding home on Main Street donated a portion of her property in 1964 to enhance Holding Park.
Researched and written by Mary Jo DeLaere, Wake Forest Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
National Register of Historical Places Wake Forest Museum
Wake Forest Gazette Wake Weekly