Local News

New Plan for Fayetteville Street Plaza Up for Public Comment

Posted April 24, 2007 4:29 p.m. EDT
Updated April 24, 2007 8:46 p.m. EDT

— 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.