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02 Sep


Auburn Activates City Hall Plaza

September 2, 2014 | By |

Downtown Auburn came to life as Tumbling Dice, a Rolling Stones tribute band, rocked lunchtime in Auburn’s City Hall Plaza this August. Soundbites, a well-attended lunchtime concert series, has reverberated through Downtown Auburn on Thursdays every summer since MAKERS and Nakano Associates redesigned the City Hall Plaza and Plaza Park in 2011.

In addition to Soundbites, the Auburn Days is a home-grown community parade and festival that takes place in downtown Auburn every summer.

Aurburn’s efforts to revitalize its downtown seem to be working. Not only are people out having a good time, but a new building is going up kitty-corner to City Hall.

Auburn-City-Hall-Plaza-and-Plaza-Park Nakano Associates

Concert-goers enjoy shade on the upper level of the plaza. Note the recirculating granite water feature to the left and terraces with new seating and planting areas beyond, both added in the 2011 plaza redesign. New construction is going up across the street.

City Hall Plaza and Plaza Park are key pieces of the South Division Street Promenade, a Greenroad-certified street that leads from the Sounder train station to City Hall. City Hall Plaza and Plaza Park provide the kind of community gathering spaces that Auburn residents had identified as a need.

Auburn-City-Hall-Plaza-and-Plaza-Park  Nakano Associates

Plaza Park, a temporary public space created in conjunction with the plaza redesign, filled up during the concert.

At times like lunchtime at Soundbites one understands how “the landscape truly comes into being only after the rituals of habitation have begun. Once it has been used by one person alone or many together for contemplation, play, or celebration, then it will flourish,” a motto Nakano Associates has been living by for years.