Open main menu

Market Street Park, known as Lee Park until 2017, and as Emancipation Park from June 2017 to July 2018, is a public park in Charlottesville, Virginia.[1][2]

Market Street Park
Robert Edward Lee statue Lee Park downtown Charlottesville VA August 2008.jpg
The Robert E. Lee statue in front of the First United Methodist Church in 2008
LocationCharlottesville, Virginia, U.S.
Coordinates38°01′54″N 78°28′50″W / 38.0318°N 78.4806°W / 38.0318; -78.4806Coordinates: 38°01′54″N 78°28′50″W / 38.0318°N 78.4806°W / 38.0318; -78.4806


The land for the park was purchased in 1917 by Paul Goodloe McIntire to be the setting for a bronze equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee and his horse Traveller that McIntire had commissioned. The park and statue were donated to the city of Charlottesville by McIntire.[3] The statue, although commissioned in 1917, was not cast until 1924 and it was finally placed in the park on Saturday, May 3, of that year.[1]

In February 2017, the City Council voted to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from the park. However, a lawsuit opposing the removal was filed in March 2017 and the statue remains, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.[4]

On June 5, 2017, the City Council, led by Mayor Michael Signer, voted unanimously to change the park's name to Emancipation Park.[2]

The renaming of the park and the proposed removal of the Robert Edward Lee sculpture on the site by the Charlottesville city council was the catalyst for the 2017 Unite the Right rally and a focus of controversy between those who want it removed and those who want it to remain.[4]

In July 2018 the park was renamed Market Street Park.[5]


Market Street Park is bordered on the north by Jefferson Street, on the south by Market Street, on the west by First Street N.E., and on the east by Second Street N.E.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Market Street Park (Formerly Known as Lee Park)". Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Charlottesville City Council Votes to Rename Lee, Jackson Parks". June 5, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Betsey Gohdes-Baten (April 1996). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Robert Edward Lee Sculpture" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. and Accompanying photo
  4. ^ a b Fortin, Jacey; Alan Feuer (August 13, 2017). "The Statue at the Center of Charlottesville's Storm". The New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  5. ^ "Charlottesville City Council changes the names of two renamed parks". The Daily Progress. July 16, 2018.

External linksEdit