A key part of the Developer’s Agreements was the stipulation that the design of the District Center include spaces for public meetings and gatherings, a community plaza. Site plans for the Black property include a plaza on the Northwest corner next to the intersection of Palouse and Regal. Initial concepts from 2011 show a wide open space from the street into the parking lot with some sort of tower in the center. Designs from April 2013 replace the tower with a fountain and shaded trellis to screen the plaza from the intersection. The latest version included in the approved building permits remove the water feature and instead show a raised planter with columnar basalt elements.
At our last SNC meeting, Dave Black came seeking input on the “sculpture” in the plaza and showed the plan from April 2013 to spur the discussion with meeting attendees. He also introduced us to the artist he is working with on this feature: Robert Sevilla Naudon. If you have ever eaten at Manito Taphouse or Steelhead Grill you’ve seen the result of his work and vision.
Robert gave a very enthusiastic impromptu presentation on his ideas and vision for the project. Quick straw polls of attendees highlighted the neighborhood’s desire for a water feature (almost a unanimous consensus), some ideas of moving the feature from dead-center in the plaza to one side (to make more room for gatherings and events), and incorporation of some Palouse inspired themes (wind, grasses/wheat, and Big Rock/Basalt). Some elements of the plaza (lighting, benches, bike racks, concrete treatment) will come from the approved District Center Integrated Site Plan.
There was also some broader discussion about what kind of programming could be done with the space. Patio/sidewalk dining has been featured in the approved site plans, but neighbors also indicated their desire for music and speaker events and neighborhood fairs (craft/art, farmer markets, etc.). Dave and Robert will take that into consideration to make sure to include things like accessible power for PA systems and vendor booths.
Dave and Robert said they would take the input and work on some concepts. SNC looks forward to seeing those results and we will share them as soon as we hear back. What do you think of the plaza so far?