BROOKLYN, NY-Restoration Plaza, which was created in the 1960s as a commercial and cultural hub in the Bedford Stuyvesant section, will be renovated and modified. Garrison Architects will lead transformation of the site into a “town center dedicated to history, community, culture and commerce.”

James Garrison, principal of Garrison Architects says the project team will “transform the existing structure and functions of the plaza to reflect the optimism and creativity of today’s Bedford Stuyvesant.” The team also includes urban designer Shawn Rickenbacker and landscape architects Judith Heintz and Walter Hood.

The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp., the nation’s first community development corporation, notes that plans include creating a more active, pedestrian-friendly center that meets the evolving needs of the communities. “This is a major step in our ongoing process of neighborhood revitalization,” says Colvin Grannum, president of the BSRC.

BSRC recognized the current design of Restoration Plaza was no longer meeting the expanding needs of the now bustling Fulton Street corridor. The organization then embarked on a search process, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Small Business Services to find a team to design of the plaza.

Garrison Architects will oversee the full scope of design plans for opening up the plaza. The new design will enable the community to fully maximize the existing space, while also adding features to improve the services currently housed in this location. Possible plans may include the removal of the surrounding wall in order to make a greater open public space and making the interior of the block and storefronts more visible. Other potential aspects could be creating new meeting and performance spaces and an interactive “walk of fame” illustrating the history and story of the site, kiosks for shoppers and a landmark tower, serving as the community’s information center.

According to BSRC officials, the undertaking will enable the rebirth and reclamation of the community by integrating the area’s ecology with striking architectural design, to reach this common goal. The BSRC was created in 1967 by Senators Robert F. Kennedy, Jacob Javits and local activists with the mission of strengthening the local economy, family life and culture.

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