Revitalizing Golden’s downtown plaza

The Town of Golden and Larch Landscape Architecture are looking to hear from the community about their vision for the downtown plaza, in front of the post office.

On Wednesday, September 25, Town of Golden communications official Alysha Saville and Larch owner and architect Jason Jones were at the plaza speaking with people and gathering their ideas for the future of the area.

Larch is working with the community to build a conceptual design plan with funding from the Columbia Basin Trust. The plan will assist in obtaining future funding to move forward with detailed design and construction.

“We’ll use that concept and design to apply for more grants,” Saville said. “Not a whole lot has changed in the plaza.”

The downtown plaza was first beautified in 1987, and remains largely unchanged. The fountain, representing the mountains, was once painted blue, but now stands a coppery brown. The brickwork around the fountain has become uneven, which can cause mobility issues.

“The plaza as it exists now has been relatively unchanged,” Jones said.

Some of his concerns for the plaza included the settling concrete and stones which make the area not as age friendly, maintenance costs of operating and maintaining the fountain, and the depth of the water.

“Looking at it from a public safety perspective, there could be some improvements made there,” he said.

While conducting surveys and speaking with people, Jones said most people spend less than two minutes in the plaza, even though the area always gets sun, and it’s central to downtown.

There’s a board located in the plaza for the community to provide their feedback on. The community is invited to rate the current quality of the plaza, rate the accessibility, and grade how long they take in the plaza and if the space is family friendly. There are a few questions about keeping the fountain, designing a new one, removing the fountain altogether, and what people’s big and little ideas are for the space.

The board will be available for people to express their opinions until October 9. The Town of Golden also has a survey that will be available until the same date at www.surveymonkey.com/r/downtownplaza.

Larch will create two distinct designs for the plaza, built from people’s input, and provide a cost estimate moving forward so the Town can apply for further grants. The funding for the conceptual design plan was provided after the Town of Golden successfully received a community outdoor revitalization grant through Columbia Basin Trust. The grant is used to fund public engagement to gather ideas and feedback, informing the creation of the conceptual design options. The Town of Golden contracted Larch Landscape Architecture to undertake the project.

“I’m really excited to look at designing a public space in Golden,” Jones said, whose company is based in Golden. “I’ve had lots of great comments.”

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