Mayor Walsh Announces Winning Design to Reimagine City Hall Plaza – Our City

Syracuse, NY – Mayor Ben Walsh announced the winning community artist who will help transform the old driveway in front of Syracuse City Hall into a vibrant and welcoming pedestrian plaza. The winning design by Syracuse’s Jessica Whitley was selected by residents in an online poll this summer. The asphalt art project is expected to be installed in late summer to early fall.

“Through residents’ participation in the design and selection of the asphalt art installation, the community has come together to collectively reimagine and reimagine a space that reflects their vision for Syracuse,” said the Mayor Ben Walsh. “This project lends a unique identity to the square and makes the facade of City Hall a centerpiece for community gatherings in the heart of downtown.

Earlier this year, Adapt CNY and the City of Syracuse issued an open call for applications from artists to consider the site as a permanent public space for community dialogue and inclusive civic engagement. A design committee made up of members from Adapt CNY, the City of Syracuse, the Public Art Commission and the community narrowed down the entries to three finalists, before asking the community to choose the final winner.

In addition to Jessica’s mural, City Hall Plaza will feature tables and chairs for daily public use and planters that barricade space vehicles. The goal of the asphalt art project is to make the facade of City Hall a destination of choice for people, not vehicles, and to better make the front space a bright spot for community gatherings.

“The desire for beautiful spaces in the urban environment is universal,” said the City’s Public Art Coordinator, Kate Auwaerter. “What better place to create a welcoming and artistic community space than in front of City Hall?

Reimagining City Hall Plaza is a community project in partnership with Adapt CNY and funded by a $25,000 grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative, which uses art and community engagement to improve street safety and revitalize public space.

About Jessica Whitley

Jessica Whitley is a local artist born and raised in North Syracuse. Her work focuses on the exploration of boundaries, from the personal to the societal, and the analysis of how people interact with each other and with their environment. She lived, studied and worked in Syracuse and is excited to use her voice and perspective to help improve the quality of life for its residents.

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