Up Front 12.15
Nollen Plaza makeover?
Matt McCoy?s talking about giving Nollen Plaza a makeover. He?s talking about livening up the place, like David Kruidenier did with Gray?s Lake.
Due to mechanical problems, the downtown landmark?s water fountain no longer works. The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, Downtown Community Alliance and the city spent $30,000 to keep the fountain running last year, but it?s beyond repair. The Downtown Community Alliance has already contracted with Project for Public Spaces, a New York City urban planning firm, to brainstorm ideas for reinventing the space with the major downtown stakeholders. The DCA is also talking to the people who built it, getting their ideas for the future of the park. The discussion yielded suggestions that range from doable now (installing movable tables and chairs, planting flowers and hosting live music events that serve adult beverages) to doable after a fund-raising campaign. Other ideas discussed were getting Splash, a nearby seafood restaurant, to set up outdoor tables and chairs in the plaza and bringing a restaurant to the ground floor of adjacent Capital Square.
?There was no shortage of ideas,? says McCoy, vice president of community development for the DCA and a state senator. ?We do have a shortage of money.?
However, McCoy is optimistic. ?Every time this community has been challenged to do something like this, they?ve always risen to the challenge,? he says.
McCoy sees 2005 as a planning year, and the project taking shape in 2006-07.
?We want to get people excited about the space again,? he says.
Very goods ideas. I hope they keep a fountain in the complex. I'd love to see some jumping fountains somewhere.