Old City Hall Cornerstone / Fulton Park
This block consists of a parking lot installed in the 1960s and what is often referred to as the downtown mini park, or “Alexander Fulton Park,” named for the city’s founder and a popular site for community events. The park was installed in the early 1980s after the buildings on this block were demolished as part of the effort to revitalize the blighted downtown area, which suffered from the displacement of local businesses and residents. The construction of I-49 around this time was expected to generate new business in downtown Alexandria, supplemented by revitalization efforts which included the construction of the new convention center, the growth of hospital facilities, rehabilitation of old buildings including The Bentley and Rapides Bank, demolition of vacant structures thought to be unusable, and the completion of the Red River Navigation Project. Purported to be the site of the city library in 1906 which held the literary collection of Thomas Courtland Manning, this block once contained a wide variety of businesses, reflecting the significance of downtown as the original commercial center of Alexandria. On the corner of the park near the Commercial Building stands the cornerstone of the City Hall building that preceded the present one. Completed in 1910, Old City Hall was designed by George Richard Mann, the same architect who designed the Hotel Bentley. It was demolished in 1963 to make way for the construction of the new city hall building that stands today. The cornerstone was moved from its original location on the 900 block of 3rd St. to its current location in the park.