Public Square Revitalized
Public Square Undergoes Multi-Million Revitalization
By Lexi Hotchkiss
Few things say “welcome” quite like a complete makeover to your front yard. That’s why, this June, Cleveland unveiled a $50 million renovation project to its famed Public Square.
This 10-acre area that is known as the center of Downtown has long been seen as a somewhat disjointed collection of quadrants meshed with public transportation and sprinkled with historic monuments and memorials.
But that all transforms as the completely reinvigorated area is unveiled just in time for the RNC Convention this July.
Designed by famed architectural firm James Corner Fields Operation and coordinated by a joint venture of the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, the new Public Square boasts a modern-day civic space that not only offers—but encourages—pedestrian traffic and camaraderie.
The improvement project, which took about 15 months from start to finish, turns the area into one unified space that is lush with greenspace, colorful plants, floral beds, temporary art exhibitions and new pavers.
One half of the space is surfaced with Kentucky bluegrass and serves as an informal space for afternoon picnicking and low-key meetings. It also includes a large space dedicated to live concerts.
The other half is a plaza, anchored by the historic Soldiers & Sailors monument, and includes a full-service café and a reflecting pool that can be transformed into an ice rink in the wintertime.
The heavy automobile traffic in the area is now replaced with pedestrian traffic as one of the streets around the square has been closed, while the others have been narrowed for bus traffic.
Groups will love that the city now offers a nice spot to relax, take a walk and enjoy some afternoon noshing.
Notable Public Square enhancements include:
• Connected pedestrian walkways
• Limited automobile traffic
• Dedicated hill for live concerts and other musical performances
• Greenspace for afternoon picnicking and informal meetings
• Full-service restaurant with seating for 140 (70 inside, 70 outside)
• Restored and moved bronze statues of Moses Cleaveland and Mayor Tom Johnson
• Reflecting pool and splash pad that can be converted into an ice-skating rink
• Weekly food trucks serving lunch 22 weeks out of the year
• The return of the city’s farmers market
• Temporary art installations throughout the year