Highlights from Vision Session #1

Bed Stuy Restoration recently kicked off its community planning process with its first visioning session on March 26th, 2019 at Restoration Plaza. Restoration President Colvin W. Grannum opened the session with remarks about Restoration’s history and the objectives of its five-year strategic plan, followed by a discussion moderated by Russell Crader from Adjaye Associates that was centered around the Plaza, its current design, and the topic of open space.

As part of Restoration’s 5-year plan to help disrupt and close the racial wealth gap, community members were invited to come discuss the pedestrian experience and activities at Restoration Plaza. Existing issues highlighted included accessibility challenges, security and night usage, and seating and seasonal implications of the space. Participants also discussed historical memories of Restoration Plaza, including the old ice skating rink and attending concerts on the Plaza.

Highlights from Vision Session #2

At Bed Stuy Restoration’s second visioning session on April 15th, members of the community shared their memories and opinions of the Plaza and ways that the space could be improved for future use. Many shared their historical recollections of coming to Restoration Plaza to enjoy the arts, but also acknowledged that major accessibility issues are holding it back from reaching its full potential. As one session attendee put it, “Although there’s great programming here, the Plaza looks uninviting, and if I didn’t know what was there, I likely would never think that it was for me.”

Overall, the members of the community agreed that culture and the arts should continue to play an anchor role at the future site, alongside uses that create economic opportunities, especially for youth.

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