Downtown Greenway Featured on NEA BlogPosted on
Read about the Downtown Greenway on the National Endowment for the Arts
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In July 2010, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded the Greenway a grant of $100,000 as a part of its Mayor’s Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative. From more than 200 applicants from across the country, the Greensboro Downtown Greenway project was selected as one of 21 grants totaling $3 million.
The grant will support the restoration of an abandoned railroad underpass in a section of the Greenway to be known as Morehead Linear Park. This phase, to be constructed beginning this fall, starts at West Lee Street and the Freeman Mill Road ramp and runs north along Freeman Mill Road to Spring Garden Street.
The underpass formerly served both vehicular and pedestrian traffic from both Spring Street and Cedar Street as they merged to allow for passage beneath the North Carolina Railroad tracks that run east-west along the southern end of downtown Greensboro. The construction of Freeman Mill Road in the mid 1970s redirected traffic, and the underpass was abandoned. The heavily wooded site was rediscovered in early 2001 as concept plans for the Greenway were first being considered.
The restoration project includes the addition of 12 decorative iron gates to be designed and fabricated by local artist Jim Gallucci and placed in existing doorways along the underpass, through which will be seen two 60-foot graphic panels depicting parts of Greensboro’s history. Cooper Carry Center for Connective Architecture, who has been involved in the project from its early conception, will oversee the design and fabrication of the panels. In addition, innovative and artistic lighting will illuminate the entire area to be designed by local artist Scott Richardson with Light Defines Form.