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Near Westside Initiative picks Boston group as Movement on Main contest winner

By Journal Staff


SYRACUSE — The Near Westside Initiative has chosen a group led by Boston–based urban design and planning firm Stoss as the winner of the Movement on Main competition.

Movement on Main is a street-redesign competition that seeks to create a new public gathering place on Wyoming Street in Syracuse, according to a news release from the Near Westside Initiative, in partnership with UPSTATE: A Center for Design, Research and Real Estate in the Syracuse University School of Architecture.

This contest is part of the revitalization of Syracuse’s traditionally impoverished Near Westside neighborhood, the organizers say. The design competition is funded by the Educational Foundation of America.

The Stoss proposal — called “Light-Play!” — was among five competitive proposals by interdisciplinary teams reviewed by a panel of jurors, the release said. The jury consisted of Near Westside residents and business owners, Syracuse School of Architecture professors, Syracuse University Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development staff, city and county officials, experts in health services and human dynamics, and Richard Weller, the chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The winning design offers a clear and robust vision of an exciting social space which will bring new energy to the Near West Side neighborhood and appeal to the whole community,” Weller, chair of the jury, said in the release. “The jury was particularly impressed by the way in which the design also broached the night time use of the site.”

The Stoss team also includes Höweler + Yoon Architecture of Boston, Nitsch Engineering of Boston, and Angie Cradock, a  research scientist at Harvard University who is deputy director of the Harvard Prevention Research Center.

The winning design “plays with light and colorful materials to create a new identity for Wyoming Street, a new activity center for neighborhood life, and playful new surfaces and structures that inspire movement in people of all ages,” the Near Westside Initiative release said. “Light-Play!’s design proposal includes activity mounds (small and large), seating elements and rain gardens — arranged as social rooms along the street that allow for people to sit, jump, skip, run, sled and play. Additionally, projected lights are activated at night by people via motion sensors, and reflective surfaces.”

Stoss will now begin the process of working with neighborhood stakeholders, particularly residents and business owners and county and city officials, to develop complete designs and construction documents for the five blocks of Wyoming Street, the release said. The multi-month process will begin this summer.

Wyoming Street is anchored on the north by the new WCNY broadcast facility and on the south by the rehabilitation of Nojaim Bros. grocery store and the expansion of St. Joseph’s Westside Clinic.

The four finalists in the Movement on Main competition that did not win were the following groups: Coen + Partners, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn.; King + King Architects of Syracuse, with Urban Movement Design of New York City; Marpillero Pollak Architects of New York City; and the peg office of landscape + architecture of Philadelphia, with Sp(a)de Architecture and Salina–based Barton & Loguidice, P.C.


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