Divining Paul Goodloe McIntire’s Intent

Rachana Dixit had a commendable story in the Daily Progress a couple of weeks ago that I was remiss in not mentioning at the time, “What did McIntire really want?” There have been a lot of efforts to divine the intent of Paul Goodloe McIntire in donating land and money to establish McIntire Park, but Dixit pulled the deed for a chunk of the land and checked it out. It says:

Said property shall be held and used in perpetuity by the said City for a public park and play ground for the white people of the City of Charlottesville but the authorities of the said City shall at all times have the right and power to control, regulate and restrict the use of said property.

“White people”? Awk-ward. That makes it a bit tough to adhere to McIntire’s (apparent) intent. That particular parcel of land is at the Rugby interchange. (The land that makes up the park is a patchwork of land acquired at different times.) One of the parcels where the parkway is going was condemned by Council “for use by white people as a park and playground.” Park opponents tell Dixit that McIntire surely didn’t have different intents for different chunks of the park—that in specifying that the land was to be “held and used in perpetuity…for a public park” he meant the whole shebang, and not a particular few acres. The city, obviously, disagrees.

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