City officials unveiled four concepts for a potential redesign of Fountain Square in downtown Evanston at a meeting Wednesday night in a vacant storefront in the Sherman Plaza development.
About two dozen residents turned out for the session. Public Works Director Suzette Robinson said the session, combined with online feedback on the proposals to be gathered starting later this week, would hopefully narrow the list of design concepts to three.
Then after further public feedback, Robinson said, the city hopes to winnow the contending design concepts to two — at which point it would seek proposals to develop more fully detailed design proposals.
She said she hopes that the redesigned plaza can be built next year.
One concept calls for what city consultant Teska Associates describes as a family-friendly, imaginative play space.
A diagram of the playspace proposal.
A photo of a fountain in Portland, Ore., used to illustrate the playspace concept.
All-season community programming
Another concept focuses on events and activities that could take place in the square.
A diagram of the all-season design.
The proposal suggests something like this ice rink in Washington, D.C., could be part of the all-season design.
Vibrant event space
The consultants also suggested a different spin on the event space concept.
A diagram of the “vibrant” event space concept.
This “shared street” in Batavia, Ill., was used to illustrate one aspect of the event space concept.
The fourth concept presented focused on emphasizing the city’s dedication to environmental sustainability.
A diagram showing the “green” design.
A rendering of what it might look like to walk through the “green” design.
All the different designs include a fountain and a veterans memorial — both features of the current square.
Robinson said she believes any design should also include something the city’s forestry director, Paul D’Agostino, wants — a large evergreen tree — so the city doesn’t have to continue to cut down live trees to have a holiday tree to decorate in the square.