Ceremonial pavers marking the completion of phase two of the Connective Corridor project will be placed at the midpoint of the route linking University Hill and Downtown Syracuse at a celebration on Wednesday, October 14.
The festive event will include an outdoor street ceremony at 10 a.m. on the 400 block of East Fayette Street in front of Fayette-Fireman’s Park. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony hosted by the Central New York Community Foundation in its second floor ballroom and the CNY Philanthropy Center at 431 East Fayette Street, which is also the rain location for the ceremony.
Speakers will include:
- Senator Charles Schumer
- Assemblyman William Magnarelli
- County Executive Joanie Mahoney
- Mayor Stephanie Miner
- Elizabeth D. Liddy, Syracuse University Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost
President and CEO of WCNY, Robert Daino, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Following brief remarks, ceremonial pavers engraved with the seals of Syracuse University, the U.S. Department of Transportation, New York State, Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse will be placed at the entry to Fayette Park, which represents the mid-point of the green streetscape route. The act is reminiscent of the golden spike driven by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad, signifying the ceremonial connection of two routes, undertaken from separate origins, coming together in a common meeting point.
The Connective Corridor is a major urban development project managed by Syracuse University’s Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development (CEED), in partnership with the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County. It began in 2005 when the University joined with the City of Syracuse and National Grid to pursue a vision of an activated streetscape that would celebrate art and connect students to the community along a new “Connective Corridor” linking University Hill with Downtown Syracuse – areas that had been bifurcated for 40 years since Interstate 81 was built through the center of these two dynamic districts of the City of Syracuse.
The Connective Corridor project encompasses two main areas of focus: A Connector and a Civic Strip.
The Connector features a pedestrian and bicycle route between University Hill and downtown Syracuse, with dedicated bike lanes, enhanced pedestrian walkways and improved public spaces, façade improvements, streetscape amenities and convenient public transportation. The Civic Strip, with its concentration of civic institutions, museums, and arts and cultural organizations, includes enhancements such as lighting, wayfinding signs, public art and other amenities to provide a welcoming, walkable experience for those living, working, and visiting downtown Syracuse.
Phase one construction of the Connector included the street reconstruction of University Avenue and East Genesee Street to Forman Avenue, the redevelopment of Forman Park, the new Syracuse Stage Plaza with its “singing sidewalk” and interactive LED lights, the Warehouse Hub and the Armory Square gateway park. Those projects were completed 2013. Phase two work for the section of the Connector from Forman Avenue to West Street and the Near Westside was completed in fall 2015.
Phase three, still to come, includes projects along the Civic Strip that will enliven the Syracuse experience with additional streetscape enhancements, innovative and attractive lighting, wayfinding signs, public art and public space amenities to provide a welcoming, walkable experience for those live, work, study and visit Downtown Syracuse.