|Parks & Plazas
Center Plaza is an important gateway linking City Center and the Westside. Within a one-block radius of the plaza there are 8,100 employees, 1,200 residents (with another 850 on the way), and between 1,500 and 2,000 hotel guests.
After years of planning and fundraising by the public and private sectors, Center Plaza's $7.4 million renovation project is complete. The plaza is now Downtown's premiere greenspace with trees, plush lawns, water features, and better lighting.
The Partnership has helped establish a foundation and hired a caretaker to oversee the day-to-day operations of the park. The model for these future operations is based on that of Bryant Park in New York City.
The Partnership has improved the landscaping of this recently-renovated plaza and has dedicated a caretaker to maintain the area and set out tables & chairs for lunchtime diners. In addition to better trees and vegetation in the permanent planters, new flower pots and public art has been added, and changes are underway to make special programs, like the First Thursday Pepsi Lunchtime Concerts, even better.
The restoration of Preston Gardens, the historic park on St. Paul Place across from Mercy Hospital, began in the fall of 2007. In this first phase, diseased trees and damaging vines were removed, and new up-lighting was added to highlight the serpentine wall and improve the park's safety at night. The next phase will begin this year, restoring the parks masonry and fountains, and adding new trees, bushes, and flowers. This work is made possible by the generous support of businesses and institutions that surround the park.