Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Art Plaza at 14th St. and Colorado Ave. NW -- Mock-up Visioning Opportunity --- Your Input is Requested

14th St. and Colorado Avenue NW, DC

Somehow, Rebar, the San Francisco-based arts-planning collective that created Park(ing) Day among other actions (see "Civic adventures with Rebar design collective" from the San Francisco Chronicle) has been enticed to work on a project in DC.

From T.A. Uqdah of the 14th St. Uptown Business Association:

As part of a 3-prong approach --- OP's 14th St. Revitalization Proposal and ArtPlace grant, combined with DC Arts and Humanities 5X5 arts project --- the 14th St. Uptown Business Assoc. (1-4 UBA), has teamed up with Rebar, a San Francisco-based public arts initiative group, the16th St. Heights Civic Assoc. (SSHCA) and the CBENA/16th St. Heights Node 3 community, to launch our first collaborative project on Saturday, April 21, 2012, starting at 8 AM to 6:30 PM. All are invited.

We need your ideas and input at this first charette (Location TBD) to help us focus on our vision for a plaza mock-up for the Colorado Triangle Park, as has been proposed by OP in our small area plan for this 3rd Node, from Jefferson St. on the South to Longfellow St. to the North.

What we envision is the creation of a landscaped, eco-friendly arts plaza, created by closing-off access to Colorado Avenue from 14th St. @ Kennedy St. This newly formed triangle will allow for appreciably more area of public space, furniture, visibility, public art displays and even musical interludes during warmer weather. And let's not forget, in addition to our own local neighborhood artist, internationally acclaimed color artist, Sam Gilliam, has also established studio space right along the 14th St. corridor at Longfellow.

Help us to set the stage for our version of "artist row;" complete with restaurants, entertainment and neighborhood serving retail. Come see the other fabulous plans for our area. Once completed, Northeast access to Colorado Ave. from 14th St. will be reconfigured around the new plaza, in order to not adversely impact the existing and future Colorado Ave. businesses in the 5500 block.

Rebar plans to guide us through a process that will ultimately offer us mock-ups of temporary street furniture and other public realm visions, but we need to know what you want; what your ideas are, what is it that you envision; therefore, your participation and input is critical to the process and thus requested.

We need volunteers to work in two shifts for the plaza mock-up. The first shift is from 8 AM to 3 PM; and the second shift is from 3 PM to 6:30 PM.

Food, furniture and fun are some of the first activities, to be had, as we begin to turn our collective vision into a reality. Volunteers will be trained as ambassador-host/ hostess as participants arrive throughout the day, as well as others will be needed to clean-up and plant trees and/or perrenials, serve food, water and refreshment to our attendees, but most of all, to give us your ideas and input.

Any questions on the 5x5, OP Revitalization plan, ArtPlace grant or upcoming charette, contact T.A. Uqdah at, or by phone at 202-421-8945.



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