Evanston officials will present initial concept designs for planned improvements at Fountain Square downtown next Wednesday, March 11.

The meeting will be held across the street from the square in the Shops at Sherman Plaza, 1614 Sherman Ave.

The city last fall blocked off part of Sherman Avenue in the Fountain Square block to test traffic flow on a narrowed version of the street and to provide a gathering place where consultants from Teska Associates could seek ideas from residents about what should be done to enhance the square, where the existing nearly 40-year-old fountain is failing.

A video produced by Teska summarizes some of what was learned.

Wednesday’s meeting will start with an open house at 6 p.m., with a presentation of the concept designs at 6:45 p.m., followed by community discussion until 8:30 p.m.

City officials say they hope to gather community input about the designs and establish some overall design preferences during the session.

Some information about the Fountain Square project is available on the city website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. No surprise

    I wonder how much the city spent to have a consultant tell them that the majority of traffic through the square flowed from entry points to exit points (cross walks). 

    1. They have to keep Consultants happy

      The city must have a 'Full Employment Act'  for lawyers and consultants.  The consultants tell the city what to do and the lawyers clean-up after them or handle all the suits filed to stop what they advise.  Along with fighting NU, and representing those who don't want anything built before 1960 changed, must keep them all busy.

  2. Visioning?

    Based on the information provided in the consultant’s posted presentation, I cannot fathom how they took the feedback they gathered and determined a “play space” would be one of four goals for the redesign of this signature space! Really? A playground at one of the downtown’s busiest, least intuitive intersections which serves vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic!

    Signature fountain, veterans’ memorial, and a more pleasant, appealing space which could occasionally accommodate programming are all great and APPROPRIATE uses for this premiere space with historic significance. It should be a place of dignity and pride.   

    The City and its consultants would be well-served to look at the City of Savannah’s squares for direction and inspiration because there are excellent examples containing fountains and memorials while supporting the transportation (vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, etc.) requirements of the surrounding area. These squares also support public gatherings. And it cannot be denied that these are beautifully landscaped green spaces with benches and other areas to linger for a number of activities also suggested – eating, meeting, etc. This is an achievable goal.


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