An open house for the redesign of Moore Square drew a crowd of around 50 Raleigh residents on Wednesday, a turnout that city employee Grayson Maughan said “shows the city is excited about this project moving forward.”
The open house included a ten-minute presentation that introduced numerous members of the design team and Dallas-based artist Brad Goldberg, who was approved by the city of Raleigh arts commission to work on this project.
Citizens were then given yellow sticky notes to write suggestions on the various parts of the project and thumbs-up, thumbs-down stickers to indicate which design elements they preferred. Goldberg said that the feedback gave him many ideas but that it was too early for him to speculate what the final artwork in Moore Square would be.
“It’s good to hear all the pros and cons and people’s excitement that the park is coming to be,” Goldberg said.
The event, which took place in city market in downtown Raleigh, had three prominent sections.
One section gave a brief overview of the history of Moore Square. One was devoted to design elements, with pictures of famous parks across the world, and the other to a “programming” element, which focused on what activities citizens would like to do in the new Moore Square.
Wrote one citizen on a sticky note affixed to the programming element of “Shop”: “YES, PLEASE! (Any and All).”
Another citizen wrote down for the “Relax” programming element: “Please make the value of diversity to make this hospitable for our friends without homes.”
Stephen Bentley, a city employee within the parks, recreation, and cultural resources department who oversees planning and design for the Moore Square project, said the location was chosen for both the space and the accessibility to Moore Square. Two tours of Moore Square were offered during the open house, which allowed citizens to give feedback from the site itself.
Because four years had passed since the Moore Square plan was adopted in 2011, the team working on the project wanted feedback as to which experiences people would like to have in the new Moore Square. The goal was not just to deliver a great park, but to allow for a variety of experiences that citizens could enjoy. Categories included in that section included “play,” “performance,” and “learn.”
The next step in the process is writing the document that will be presented to city council in 12 weeks. The design team — Sasaki, based in Boston — will author the document and if it meets the approval of city council, the project will move forward. Construction will begin with the goal of the park opening by the end of 2016.
Maughan, who works in the parks, recreation, and cultural resources department, said she was “thrilled” by the turnout and that at open houses a “majority of what we do is listening.”
Goldberg said the feedback “has been very positive.”