The purpose of the project is to design and construct improvements to the Fountain Plaza to implement the goals of the Fountain District Urban Village Plan and maximize the use of a relatively small public space. Strategies include:
- Construct a signature fountain to adhere to the property donation covenants, enforce the district's namesake and provide a gateway to the Fountain District Urban Village;
- Celebrate the history of the site by providing educational materials or experiences;
- Define the character of the district through artwork and other distinctive elements;
- Create experiences specifically targeting transit riders, middle-school aged children and customers of the immediately-surrounding businesses;
- Consider wayfinding or other elements that create identify/connection/ownership/unity with the three surrounding neighborhoods; and
- Remove the existing maple tree for safety, light and/or functionality.
As part of the preferred design concept selected through a public process, the existing tree at the corner of Monroe and Meridian will be removed. The decision to remove the tree wasn't easy. A certified arborist assessed the tree in 2018 to determine the long term outlook and help weigh out options. The arborist noted heart rot, hollow center, and limited future life span. There is also information about the tree center being partially filled with concrete.
The tree will be removed and replaced as part of the reconstruction process to avoid future damage to the brand-new plaza. Salvageable wood will be stored for future potential projects or artwork. This project provided a great opportunity to introduce new trees and landscaping to this important public space. The featured replacement tree selected is a large, urban-tolerant disease-resistant tree with a distinctive form and texture and will be located in an area where it will have room to grow, thrive and become a part of the next generation of the plaza.
The City is also partnering with the Fountain Business Association on the installation of a mural on the side of the building adjacent to the plaza.
Private Donation, Park Impact Fees
This project resumed construction on May 5th and is expected to be complete in late August 2020. Previously completed work included a new artwork installation on an existing utility pole and metal traffic cabinet.