Syracuse, N.Y. – The City of Syracuse, in partnership with Adapt CNY, is seeking design proposals from the community to transform the patch of asphalt in front of Syracuse City Hall into a vibrant and welcoming plaza for pedestrians. The Reimagining City Hall Plaza project is funded through a $25,000 grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative, which aims to improve street safety through community engagement, art, and design. Local artists are invited to create and submit an asphalt art design by May 6.
Located at 233 East Washington Street, City Hall is a grand structure that serves as a popular destination for pedestrians, community gatherings, ceremonies, and celebrations in Downtown Syracuse. At one time, the area featured an inviting and walkable plaza of raised flower beds. Today, the entrance consists of a rectangular patch of asphalt that merely serves as a driveway for vehicles. With this public art project, the City aims to once again provide residents and pedestrians with a vibrant and unifying place to gather downtown and foster a shared sense of community and civic pride.
“Public art has the power to reimagine streets, improve public safety, attract visitors, inspire people, and enhance neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh. “As we continue investing in our city infrastructure, we are also excited about creating brighter, safer, and more welcoming streets in the process. We believe including public art projects in our efforts to bolster city infrastructure will result in a safer, more vibrant urban landscape for residents and visitors alike.”
The goal of the asphalt art mural project is to remove vehicle traffic from the formal entrance of City Hall and reimagine the front plaza into a permanent public space for dialogue and inclusive civic engagement. Artists must consider these themes in the design of their proposals. A design committee will narrow down all submissions to three finalists. The public will be invited to view finalists’ presentations and participate in installing the asphalt mural.
“Public participation will be a vital component to this project,” said the City’s Public Art Coordinator Kate Auwaerter. “Whether they want to submit a design, vote on the winning design, or help set up the art installation itself, members of the public are encouraged to provide their input throughout this process.”
The winning artist will receive $3,500 and will receive technical assistance with executing the project from the City and Adapt CNY. The City and Adapt CNY will also purchase all mural-related supplies for the installation based on the budgets provided by the winning artist. While preference will be given to artists from the Central New York region, artists outside of the region with strong ties to Syracuse are welcome to apply and will be considered.
Artists can learn more about the process and submit their designs at http://bit.ly/syrplaza-application. Designs should be submitted no later than midnight on May 6. The City Hall Plaza mural installation is anticipated to be completed before the end of 2022.