Roanoke City Council votes a week from tomorrow on a resolution to change the name of Jackson Park Branch Library and the adjoining park in Southeast to Belmont Branch Library and Belmont Park. This comes after the middle school name change last July from Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Prior to 1925, the park had been called “Belmont Park,” according to city archival records.

Roanoke City news release: On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Roanoke City Council will vote to adopt resolutions changing the name of the Jackson Park Branch Library, located at 1101 Morningside St. SE, to the Belmont Branch Library, and the name of Jackson Park, located at 923 Montrose Ave. S.E. and 1030 Penmar Ave. SE, to Belmont Park.

In July 2018, the Roanoke City School Board approved a name change of the former Stonewall Jackson Middle School, which is adjacent to the branch library and park. In response to Council’s interest in removing the reference to Stonewall Jackson and in light of the School Board’s decision, the city reviewed historic and archival information that revealed the Park was commonly known as “Belmont Park” prior to 1925, when the name of the middle school was established for Stonewall Jackson and then subsequently applied to the park and the branch library.

City Council action is necessary to change the names and to bring the name designations into better alignment with the city’s policy for the naming of libraries and parks, which have generally been named for the geographic/neighborhood of the areas they serve.

This proposal was reviewed by the Board of the Southeast Action Forum at its meeting on Jan. 29, 2019.