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New Plan for Fayetteville Street Plaza Up for Public Comment

Posted April 24, 2007

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— Business is booming on a reopened Fayetteville Street, but a plaza designed to hold public art stands empty. Now, it's the public’s turn to weigh in on what the City Council hopes will fill the void for public art in the state capital.

City planners have unveiled pictures and models of a new concept for Fayetteville Street Plaza.

“It's hardwired for (information technology),” said plaza planner Kris Larson. “There's three fountains in the plaza…(and) it's hardwired for water and sewer. We want to encourage pedestrian activity.”

Last fall, the City Council rejected a plaza plan by famed artist Jaume Plensa. His concept featured a fountain and lights in the middle of the street. However, city leaders felt the plan was out of sync with the Fayetteville Street reconstruction.

The new plan will leave an unobstructed view from Memorial Auditorium to the State Capitol. It will allow traffic on the street to move freely.

“I think it will be nice to have a place for people to come out here and sit down and eat lunch,” said pedestrian Ebony Hall.

“I'm sick of the construction,” said pedestrian Elizabeth Taylor. “I'm ready to sit down and have the dust and old benches be gone and be able to relax.”

The plan features new retail pavilions for coffee, food or other vendors. Oak leaf bollards would separate the sidewalk from the street, and modern sculpted towers would project and reflect color-changing L.E.D. light.

“(The planners) really reached out to a number of folks, everybody we could think of, to really make sure we got as much input as we could in helping design this space,” Larson said.

The plan is on display at the Urban Design Center on Fayetteville Street during business hours. It will go before the City Council on May 1.


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  • oMzziG Apr 25, 2007

    I personally would love to see an area for hot dog vendors selling real hot dogs. The kind that are grilled over charcoal not boiled in water. There's nothing better than a hot dog and a cold bottle of water on days like we are seeing right now. Muuuuum!!! Sounds good doesn't it?

  • ncwebguy Apr 25, 2007

    Where to start...

    On Sunday, you probably could have had an early dinner at Yancy's on Fayetville Street in the Hudson, and maybe the Big Easy or Fayetville Street Tavern further up the street. Or the Raleigh Times on Hargett. Or the mexican place, Woody's, and maybe Vic's in City Market.

    The oak leaves are a little (a)corny, but it is better than bland poles sticking out of the ground.

    Parking? There is plenty of free parking on the street, the cross streets (Hargett, Martin, Davie), and parallel streets (Blount, Wilmington, Salisbury). And the parking decks are free after 7pm, except for special events.

    Fountains? The article says there will be *three* fountain in the plaza. And there is one in front of city hall on Hargett. And there might be one as part of the Marriott and/or Site 1. And maybe the new convention center.

  • hippophile Apr 24, 2007

    I encourage Raleigh leaders to look at the City of Lexington, Kentucky for ideas on revitalization. They have lots of fountains that enhance the beauty of their CBD. With the removal of the fountain at the Wachovia Building, downtown Raleigh has zero fountains. I recommended many.

  • refiman Apr 24, 2007

    Well, since they will most definately turn it back into a mall in 20 years. They should make it something that will fit into that design

  • tbfromnc Apr 24, 2007

    Downtown Raleigh will never be sucessful as long as theres no place to park. I won't go down there for fear of getting towed or gouged by the parking lot companies. There are way to many other places that are car friendly with Free parking.

  • houndog Apr 24, 2007

    My recommendation is that the city council should have no input. Raleigh had a world-reknowned artist in its midst and expected him to offer another giant Acorn. Wow, that's creative. What an impression the city of Raleigh left on its art community. I agree that Fayetteville St. has some growing to do. Some nights and days it's still very quiet. The residential elements is still not complete, and the convention center will help as more out of towners find the street when visiting. Anyway, maybe the sculpture can be of a tobacco leaf or Andy Griffith. And before anyone makes the comment: I'm a native.

  • taurus38 Apr 24, 2007

    plan looks alot better than the so calledart that was planed before

  • usnn Apr 24, 2007

    They put a park in downtown greensboro and already the homeless have invaded it and create a mess by leaving all their waste around the grounds. if you want downtown to stay clean dont create places where people can sleep

  • erggggg Apr 24, 2007

    is fayetteville st really "bustling" these days? i went there after an opera matinee last sunday looking for a "cool downtown" restaurant to eat an early dinner at and everything was closed! had to go to glenwood south to an "old reliable" restaurant....