Renaissance Park at 500: Secret Park in Scranton Unlocked

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- A park in Scranton that's been around for almost a decade but was off limits to the public finally opened last weekend. It's tucked in an unusual spot in the city's downtown.

For about eight years, a padlock and a bunch of red tape have kept people from a unique park between Lackawanna and Cedar Avenues in downtown Scranton.

No one was there on this dreary spring day, but a train passed by. The Renaissance Park at 500 is built on an old elevated set of train tracks.

"Everybody's pointing fingers, but I'm just glad they're finally getting something done and bringing it in," said Bill Hughes.

Hughes works at Coney Island right around the corner from the park. He's been patiently waiting for its opening. After the park was built in 2010, there were contract disputes and ownership rules to hammer out.

The gate was unlocked on Sunday.

"If it goes well, I'll be glad to bring my kids down and let them play up there," Hughes said.

The park overlooks Bogart Court, home to several businesses and the website "Better Than The Weekend."

"Every time I have someone come down to the office, our headquarters where we're at, nobody knows where it's at and they come here and they're like, 'Wow!'" said Justin Adam Brown of "Better Than The Weekend."

The park could bring Bogart's businesses the foot traffic they've been needing. It will be maintained by the city and Steamtown National Historic Site.

"I think there should be, you know, art festivals, little music festivals, block parties. I think that it's something the community can benefit from together," said Brown.

Renaissance Park will be open every day during the spring, summer, and fall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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