Release Date: September 10,2020
Take a Load Off: DAP Adds New Public Seating to Northside Green
(Akron, Ohio) - Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) announces the launch of two new outdoor seating areas to enhance the public space of the Northside Green. The furniture consists of modular seating, solar-powered lighting and pergola-like overhead elements, creating a beautiful, durable and functional system of public seating. The new seating was fabricated by Dominic Falcione of Krunchworks Design, who also created the parklet on North High St., outside of Akron Coffee Roasters, Chill Artisan Ice-Cream, High St. Hop House and the Nightlight Theatre. The addition of the outdoor furniture to the Northside Green completes a series of updates and improvements, and transforms an otherwise inert space between two rows of parking spaces into an inviting oasis for visitors, shoppers and people enjoying lunch or music outdoors.
DAP President and CEO Suzie Graham said, "Each component of downtown's public space is an invitation to all people to visit downtown, see themselves here and know that they are welcome and needed for the city to be a great place to live."
Earlier this summer, DAP and a group of volunteers repainted the mural at the Northside Green--created in 2018 by Akron artist and owner of Totally Tangled Creations, April Nicholson-Couch. The artist returned in May 2020 to update the design by adding monarch butterfly motifs.
Working with Summit Metro Parks and Keep Akron Beautiful, DAP added pollinator-friendly plantings to the flowerbeds and plant containers to attract migrating monarchs and other pollinators. In August 2020, DAP introduced an innovative portable busking station, created by EarthQuaker Devices and Puzzle Creative Solutions, which can be used by anyone in the Northside Green for impromptu outdoor music performances.
DAP Director of Engagement and Events Kelli Fetter said, "The busking station is a custom-made cabinet on wheels with a stool, small chalkboard sign and a rechargeable, battery-powered amplifier, complete with four EarthQuaker Devices effects pedals. We're actively seeking cool names for the station on DAP's social media channels."
To borrow the busking station, performers should visit the shared checkout desk in the entrance area of the Northside Marketplace. The station is available for use in the Northside Green only, and can be checked out Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The addition of the new seating, busking station, and the Concerts in the Commons concert series caps a summer of downtown beautification efforts and programming against the backdrop of the pandemic. With the Physically distanced. Socially connected. Healthy downtown. initiative, DAP brought safe fitness programs to Lock 3, started the previously mentioned Concerts in the Commons, reinstalled the North High St. parklet, pressure washed and repainted the colorful steps of Lock 2 and replanted containers throughout downtown.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Program Director in Akron Kyle Kutuchief said, "Public spaces are crucial to downtown Akron's recovery because they provide opportunities for visitors to come for one destination and stay for another. We can still enjoy our favorite places, connect socially and maintain a healthy downtown."
The Northside Green's public seating was made possible through support from the Knight Foundation and the city of Akron.
Accompanying photo: courtesy of DAP Staff
To find out more about Downtown Akron Partnership's initiatives to build and promote a vibrant, valuable downtown, visit downtownakron.com. Follow DAP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep up with the latest developments in downtown Akron.
About Downtown Akron Partnership
The mission of Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) is to promote and build a vibrant and valuable downtown. DAP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing people, activity, business and a thriving civic life to the heart of Akron. Through strategic marketing, clean and safe programs and management of downtown's resources, DAP works to promote the district as a gathering place in the center of our community.
DAP's members include property owners, business leaders and government officials who want to improve the image of downtown as a safe, convenient location for businesses, working professionals and families. DAP is governed by a board of trustees as diverse as the interests of our city. DAP is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Akron Community Foundation and GAR Foundation.