|First Friday: Fall Semester
Welcome back. Area schools are back in session, Syracuse is once again buzzing with energy as college and university students return, and this weekend our sultry summer days will begin to transition to the crisp autumn weather that makes this season so lovely upstate.
If you returned to Syracuse, you can’t help but notice change. It’s been a busy summer construction season, and you’ll see bustling activity continue through the next few months to button Connective Corridor streetscape work as the seasons again change. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear flocks of Canadian geese winging their way south – a sure sign that colder days are ahead (too soon). So, the push is on to take advantage of these beautiful early fall days to forge ahead before snow flies again (too soon).
What’s new with CC construction:
We’ve held 25 business outreach meetings so far this year and enjoy these great conversations with area property owners about the project. We’ve loved hearing from folks about how much they like seeing the improvements take shape. And we’re happy to entertain questions about the project, schedule and nature of the improvements.
Connective Corridor construction is like building a seven-layer cake, and here’s an inside look at the layers:
- Water infrastructure – water main replacements, stormwater separation, new and enhanced drainage infrastructure and other advanced source reduction measures by the City Water Department in preparation for installation of new green infrastructure that will manage 26 million gallons of water / stormwater annually across the Connective Corridor;
- Utility infrastructure – electrical and gas relocations and upgrades, electrical vault/ headstructures and duct work, infrastructure for new, enhanced lighting, by National Grid and its subcontractors;
- Green infrastructure – underdrains, subbase, geogrids, geowebs, bioswales, silva cells, structural soils, catch basins, storage areas and trenches, controlled release measures, tree pits and rain gardens, and many other sub-surface and streetscape measures supported through Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program;
- Streetscape excavation in advance of reconstruction – digging through layers of existing road (some of which are 90 years old), demolition of old, cracked sidewalks, and other structures in the public right of way, clearing the way for a new streetscape from building face to building face;
- Streetscape construction – installation of new road binder base, sidewalk base, granite curbing, new ADA accessible crosswalks, snow storage areas, structures for streetscape landscaping, bases for new, enhanced, brighter LED column lighting as well as areas for new streetscape amenities such as bike racks and benches, and laying out new parking and bike lane areas;
- Streetscape finishing – pouring the sidewalks, laying the new pavers, installing the new lighting and street furniture, new signals and street signage, “painting it black” with new asphalt, top coating, striping and other traffic control markings, installing new Duratherm crosswalks, and wrapping up with the installation of new plantings (including more than 175 new trees slated to be installed as part of CC phases two and three);
- Icing the cake – rolling out the new green methacrylate bike lanes as the final finishing touch.
Where we are now:
- The City of Syracuse Water Department is working on water infrastructure improvements -- including the installation of new water mains -- along West Fayette Street between Montgomery and Warren Streets, and will be starting work between Salina and Warren Street soon. It our understanding that this work is expected to take between 3 – 4 weeks per block.
- National Grid and its subcontractors are currently continuing electrical, gas, vault and duct work along the Connective Corridor Fayette and Genesee Street route up to Almond Street.
- Streetscape reconstruction and excavation has just started in the block of West Fayette Street between Clinton and Salina Streets. This work is currently occurring on the south side of that block, and will continue through September. As that streetscape construction is complete at the end of this month, work will switch over to the north side of that block in October. It is anticipated that will take about a month, wrapping up at the end of October. One way traffic will be maintained, along with sidewalk access, as well as driveways and parking lot access as much as construction allows. Business access is first and foremost as a priority. Flaggers will be in place to help with work zone traffic control and pedestrian access. We are holding business outreach sessions for property owners in this area, and if you would like to be included in those meeting invites, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Finishing touches are on the horizon for the Armory Square area along West Fayette between West and Clinton Streets. A huge thank you to the Armory Square Business Association and area businesses for being such great partners as we worked through this very complex first phase over the summer. In particular, the Inns at Armory Square, Kitty Hoynes and others were champions and patient partners through this process. Thanks to the Inns at Armory Square for hosting our business outreach sessions each Monday morning through summer construction. We're thrilled that businesses like the Black Olive ended up with improved and expanded sidewalk areas to create new outdoor seating areas. Take advantage of this great weather and enjoy them!
- Streetscape construction is very intense between State Street and Townsend Streets in the area around Fayette Fireman’s Park. You can see the “seven layers” coming together there over the next month. One way detours are in effect, but traffic and pedestrian movement is flowing nicely. Neighbors in the Fayette Park area have been so gracious and accommodating, and we thank them as this big portion of the CC construction plays out. Thanks, especially to the Central New York Community Foundation for hosting business outreach meetings. We’re getting there, and the Fayette Park area is going to be lovely when it's done.
- Streetscape construction is also very intense along the East Genesee Street to Almond Street area, with portions of that street closed to through-traffic as all the contruction "layers" come into place. Curbing has gone in, and sidewalks are being poured in that stretch.
- Drainage work is wrapping up on the south side of Forman Park along East Genesee Street, as well as on the east side of the park at Forman Avenue. Street reconstruction work on East Genesee Street (eastbound) began this week on the south side right lane.
- Icing the cake (top coating, final landscaping) will happen in October. The green bike lanes are last!
What’s new with the CC bus:
Ridership continues to grow on the Connective Corridor. The number of rides has increased from 6,000 the first year of operation to more than 200,000 this last academic year, and we can already see greater demand this semester, with larger numbers of students riding. More faculty are also reaching out to let us know that they are taking their classes on the bus for special projects. We’re delighted with this growing demand and flourishing ridership.
You’ll notice a slightly different route and schedule, along with continued construction detours this academic year, so bookmark this page for the most update schedule and new map: http://connectivecorridor.syr.edu/bus
Highlights of the changes:
Want to receive text alerts or e-mails about unexpected disruptions? It’s easy through Centro’s E-Alert system? It just takes a minute to sign up on-line: http://www.centro.org/customercare/
- The CC bus service is “de-coupled” from south campus service, with more south campus runs based on increased student demand. Those exchanges between services happen at the Goldstein Student Center. Check schedules to optimize connections.
- The CC campus bus route is slightly different, with the bus now turning east on Waverly from University Avenue (easier to get to places like the Schine Student Center, SU Special Collections Center and Light Work now!)
- Construction detours continue downtown through the fall, so check Centro’s detour link here
- Service to the Near Westside now runs six times a day, so check the bus page for the new schedule.
- Direct, express shuttle service between the Warehouse and campus is available every evening, and you can find the express schedule here.
Questions or problems with bus stop or service issues? Contact Centro: (315) 442-3400 or Syracuse University Parking & Transit: (315) 443-4652
Lose something on the bus? Call Centro customer service at (315) 442-3400 or immediately connect on-line at: http://www.centro.org/contactcentro.php
Need help catching the bus? Look for marked Connective Corridor bus stops, or catch the Corridor bus at any Centro bus stop along the Corridor route. No fare is required to board, and you can hop on and off anywhere along the route.
Get real time bus status with two free mobile app’s:
Track the bus in real time, and link to the Connective Corridor bus page for quick access to the current schedule and maps. See where the bus is in real time. Apps are available in both iOS and Android versions.
iOS mobile app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/use/id521824808
Go to the iTunes store and download Syracuse University USE app
Android mobile device users: http://syracuse-university.busme.us and select Connective Corridor
Coming up on the Corridor
The weather forecast this Sunday calls for a perfect fall day, so all the more reason to get your bike out and enjoy CYCLE SYRACUSE. The Connective Corridor is partnering with the 40 Below Transit Task Force, area cycle enthusiasts and SU student startups on the First Cycle Syracuse Bicycle Fest on Sunday, Sept. 7. The event will be a gathering of cyclists and spectators to showcase the bicycle culture that is rapidly growing in Central New York, as well as the new network of green bike lines being installed by the Connective Corridor across the city.
The project is the brainchild of Syracuse University alumnus Eric Ennis G'14, a graduate of the public administration master's degree program in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs who is the new community development block grant (CBDG) program administrator with the City of Syracuse's Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. Eric worked with the Connective Corridor on previous events such as Green Streets and Green Eats last Earth Week. He is the co-chair of the 40 Below Transit Task Force.
The event will feature group bicycle rides in the morning, with routes beginning at various points across the city, including City Hall, 223 E. Washington St. (starting at 10 a.m.), the Brady Faith Center, 404 South Ave. (starting at 11 a.m.) and Mello Velo, 556 Westcott St. (starting at 11 a.m.). The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along the section of West Jefferson Street adjacent to the Museum of Science and Technology in Armory Square. It will feature a food truck rally, downtown scavenger hunt, kids’ bike safety corral, historic walking tours and Connective Corridor green infrastructure walking tours. Cyclists will converge on Armory Square after their rides for the festival, along with their families and friends. The event will conclude with a showing of the bicycle documentary "The Long Bike Back" in the SU Warehouse Theater from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the community. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to attend. Read more here at SU news.
Corridor Profile: Sarah Folger
A special thank you goes to Sarah Folger ‘16, VPA, fourth-year Industrial and Interaction Design student who was a volunteer intern with the Connective Corridor this summer, and who continues to lend her wonderful insight to CC projects. Sarah is uniquely talented – a highly skilled and creative designer who really understands and appreciates the user interaction aspect of physical objects, place and space. She’s brought that expertise to projects this summer such as designing a new downtown wayfinding signage system for the Civic Strip component of the CC, as well as a highly innovative interactive kiosk system called “Kinections.” She also developed designs for events such as Midsummer Night’s Fling in Forman Park, as well as events for the Near Westside Initiative. She managed all these projects while also serving as teaching assistant for Denise Heckman’s industrial design course for high school students.
Sarah’s skill set extends to project management, and she is a natural organizer. That's also evident in her leadership role as Syracuse Student Chapter President of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA), a member of the Renee Crown University Honors Program, SU Tour guide, and a SU tutor, working with students on study skills for History of Modern Design, History of Art and other courses.
We absolutely love working with Sarah, who is creative, organized, engaged and engaging, motivated, disciplined, passionate, committed and flexible. Most of all, she is ready, willing, eager and enthusiastic about pushing her sleeves up and pitching in. A Virginia native, Sarah elected to volunteer to stay in Syracuse this summer, and work with us developing projects. We are so glad she did, and look forward to seeing her academic and professional career flourish. We know she has a stellar path ahead. Thanks, Sarah!
What’s new around the ‘Cuse
Creekwalk Commons, an exciting new downtown student housing project, welcomed its first residents from area colleges and universities in August. The unique urban redevelopment project offers 75 luxury apartments fronting the Onondaga Creekwalk, a popular downtown amenity. Its convenient location along the Connective Corridor allows easy access to both the University Hill area, as well as the Armory Square district within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, entertainment and so much more. Residents are already raving about the fully furnished luxury apartments with gorgeous light-filled bedrooms, and amazing living/kitchen areas with soaring ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite-topped islands, room enough for a full dining room table and an open layout plan to the living area. These living spaces, with amenities galore, will make you wish you were a student again.
Follow Creekwalk Commons on Facebook here.
Read a great story this week about Creekwalk Commons in the Syracuse New Times here.
“The Creekwalk Commons is going to be THE most sought after living space for design students. It will definitely bridge the gap between campus life and downtown Syracuse. Its main appeal: living within the heart of Syracuse with its delicious food, ongoing nightlife, and entertainment. That is of course when you're not too busy working at the design studio! — Chelsea Ammary
Developers Bob Doucette and Richard deVito are doing it again – creating a transformative project that will be major downtown catalyst. Their recently announced new project, called City Center, is located along the Connective Corridor on the West Jefferson Street “connector” where it meets Salina Street, just east of Armory Square. Working with Schopfer Architects and Robert Haley, their design brings a “Lincoln Center-esque” approach to the former 200,000 square foot space, once Sibley's Department Store, with new outdoor public space fronting an ambitious mixed use redevelopment. The plan calls for first floor retail and restaurant space, with second and third floors office space, and residential spaces on the fourth floor. The Redhouse Arts Center, recently announced expansion plans to become an anchor tenant in the building.
The Corridor has enjoyed working with Doucette and deVito on façade projects, including the former 250,000 square foot Dey Brothers Department Store located across the street from City Center, which features Café Kubal and Gannons on the first floor, along with other mixed-uses and beautiful market rate apartments on the upper floors. Bob Doucette is a particular hero of the Connective Corridor. He was the catalyst for the redevelopment of Armory Square, and is a cofounder and partner of Paramount Realty Group, as well as President of Armory Development & Management. His other projects include redevelopment of the Labor Temple Building, Hogan Block Building (also a Connective Corridor façade improvement project), Center Armory Complex and the Loews Building. A graduate of both Syracuse Law School and the Maxwell MPA program, Bob also finds time to serve as an adjunct faculty member of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management where he teaches real estate development.
Richard deVito is a founding member and partner in Paramount Realty Group, helping redevelop the Loews Building. Prior to joining Paramount Realty Group, he was employed at Cornell University’s Real Estate Department, where he led development and marketing of the Cornell Business & Technology Park. While at Cornell, he rezoned the 300 acre development site from industrial/research use to mixed-use zoning, for hotel, general office, medical, light manufacturing, and residential uses, and brought more than 60 new firms to the Park.
Kudos to the Paramount team for advancing another significant downtown project. We look forward to continuing to follow the developments, and to working with the team to make City Center a success on the Connective Corridor.
SALT Maltmaker Space
SALT Makerspace is officially up and running, and you are invited to help celebrate at a grand-opening, September 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. (ribbon-cutting at 7:30) inside the Delavan Center, West Fayette Street in the SALT District. The project has been spearheaded by 40Below Public Arts Task Force co-chair (and our great CC colleague), Michael Giannattasio G’12, who received a M.F.A. in sculpture from SU and has been an adjunct instructor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. (See related story here.)
Located in the Near Westside portion of the CC overlay district, SALT Makerspace (with its own separate entrance at 110 Wyoming Street), features a metal shop and wood shop, along with a 3D prototyping/ computer space, situated within 2,300 square feet inside the Delavan Art Center. The space is designed for utilization by designers, artists, tinkerers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs and other creatives on a non-profit member driven community model. Facilities will include refurbished equipment and state of the art tools in a comfortable environment, full of knowledgeable instructors so you can take workshops and learn new skills. Consider becoming a member, instructor, volunteer, or donor to help SALT Makerspace grow. Learn more here.
What’s new around the Corridor
Erie Canal Museum Mural
Can public art make you happy? Absolutely, judging from the response to one of our absolute favorite CC façade improvement projects this summer -- a striking new mural along the Water Street side of the Erie Canal Museum. (Read a syracuse.com story about the mural here.) As muralist Kelly Curry was painting the vibrant Erie Canal Museum façade mural called “The Mule Days of Summer,” dozens of people stopped by each day to tell her how happy the painting made them feel, and how much it completes the streetscape. Stop by, and you’ll understand why.
The project was supported through a CC façade improvement grant, but all the kudos go to Erie Canal Museum Curator, Dr. Daniel Franklin Ward, for conceiving the idea and finding a great muralist in Kelly, who has such a rich sense of narrative context, as well as a wonderful artist. The picture spans six “window frame” façade panels, depicting a late 19th Century scenic canal scape showing a team of mules and their driver pulling a canal boat against a background from the period.
The CC funded façade project also included a new Erie Canal Museum and Heritage Area Visitor Center sign. The Erie Canal Museum façade project complements other Corridor façade projects at 323-325 East Water Street and 333-335 East Water Street, along with a lovely Save the Rain streetscape project along that stretch. Collectively, they transform that corridor into a place that is truly vibrant. In fact, based on local reaction, it’s a new “happy corridor.”
Watch for more CC façade improvements to come at the Erie Canal Museum in coming months. (Read an interesting blog piece on the murals of Syracuse on-line in today’s syracuse.com)
Erie Canal Bike Racks
While you’re visiting the new mural at the Erie Canal Museum, be sure to check out the striking new bike racks just installed there – a CC public art project with 40 Below’s Public Arts Task Force. They are visually striking, playful, symbolic, and help tell a bigger story. Read about the creative team that produced them, and learn more about Syracuse’s interesting bicycle heritage here: http://news.syr.edu/public-art-project-on-connective-corridor-celebrates-syracuses-bicycle-history-62222/
We are Syracuse
Last semester, Syracuse University students competed to claim the CC billboard at West and West Fayette Street that commands the gateway to Armory Square. In a spirited interdisciplinary design competition, student teams vied for the opportunity to create a series over the 2014 – 2015 academic year that would be visually striking, interactive, tell a compelling story about Syracuse, and help redefine the way we think about billboards as graphic art.
The winning team was selected and their first billboard is up – the inaugural in a series called, “We are Syracuse” by Tiffany Soohoo and Karina Campos, students who are part of VPA's Industrial and Interaction Design program. Not only are the billboards beautiful, there is a story behind the people on each billboard, which you can learn by visiting a new website they created: http://www.wearesyracuse.com/
Tiffany and Karina have done a fantastic job with this project, working with our CC Engagement Scholar Quinton Fletchall who is pictured above with them. Read a great story about Tiffany and Karina here in the Daily Orange.
PS – Who has PASSION in Syracuse? There are real people behind each letter on this month’s billboard, and a reason that Karina and Tiffany picked them. Who are they and what’s their story? Find out at http://www.wearesyracuse.com/
P- Sarah Walton
I- Boris Gresely
O- Emily Nielsen
N- Jeff Rubin
Midsummer Night’s Fling in Forman Park
The recent CC Midsummer Night’s Fling in Forman Park and Urban Rest Stop was awesome. What else can we say? Hundreds turned out to wander under the stars and enjoy music by leading Symphoria’s string players, small plates by Redfields at the Crowne Plaza, and a one-night temporary art installation funded by the National Endowment for the Arts featuring work by local artists within a dazzling visual environment created by afoam, a company led by recent SU graduates from the School of Architecture and VPA's Design Program. We loved the large, eclectic mix that came out for the evening, and who happily enjoyed this wonderful public space -- the way it was intended to be used and enjoyed. Thanks to the many partners who collaborated with the Connective Corridor, UPSTATE, the Crowne Plaza, Symphoria and others to make this happen.
Read the SU news story here.
See a photo album here.
Enjoy a beautifully produced video by James Domroe here.
Kudos to UVP
Congratulations to our friends and colleagues at the Urban Video Project for producing the hit of the summer, Urban Cinematheque 2014 featuring a screening of Grand Budapest Hotel projected on the wall of the Everson Museum. What a smashing success and ebullient festival atmosphere as a huge crowd converged on Everson Plaza to enjoy the cult art-house film along with an arts and cultural fair featuring leading area artists and arts organizations. Urban Cinematheque was presented by UVP and Light Work in partnership with the Everson Museum of Art, OnCenter, Onondaga County Office of the County Executive, and the Connective Corridor. Urban Cinematheque 2014 was made possible through a generous grant made by CNY Arts.
UVP opens its 2014–2015 programming year this coming week. Read more here. “Western Union: Small Boats (The Leopard)” (2007) by world-renowned visual artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, will run from Sept. 11-Oct. 25. It also marks the beginning of “Celestial Navigation: a year into the afro future,” a year-long program of exhibitions and events at Urban Video Project and partner organizations that takes afrofuturism as its point of departure. As part of the exhibition, Julien will give an in-person artist talk on Friday, Oct. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Everson’s Hosmer Auditorium, followed by a reception on the plaza. This event will be co-sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts Transmedia Department Film Program.
We look forward to another great year of programming by UVP, and encourage you to learn more at: http://www.urbanvideoproject.com/
Want to know what else is going on this month?