A community-driven placemaking initiative to reclaim Franklin Street with art and activation
Downtown, Santa Clara
Santa Clara had what was in many ways a typical American small-town main street district, with storefronts lining the sidewalks and a mix of 1- to 3-story buildings. Franklin Street was the primary east-west promenade from the railway station, through the university, into the central business district. It was the site of the annual Cherry Carnivale Parade, celebrating the cherry industry in Santa Clara and Santa Clara Valley as early as 1914.
By the early 1960s, downtown appears to have been struggling with competition from shopping centers and the rise of a car-oriented lifestyle. In 1963, Santa Clara City Council voted for the Urban Renewal Project, to clear eight blocks of downtown to make way for what was hoped would become a modern shopping and business center. Demolition occurred in 1965. The loss of Franklin Street has been a sore spot and an example of blight in the heart of Santa Clara.
Today, downtown includes approximately 350,000 square feet of commercial and office space and 190 residential units. Important elements include the Franklin Square commercial center and plaza; the historic Post Office; the County Courthouse; and Commerce Plaza office building. along Franklin Street. The street grid does not exist and is mostly a surface parking lot.
The City Council sponsored a Downtown Revitalization Visioning Project in 2015-2017 and later sponsored a Downtown Precise Plan in 2019. When adopted the Precise Plan will become the regulatory document governing the future development, including land use, density, design guidelines, placemaking, mobility and retail elements. The city will then release publicly owned land to a private developer to build the new downtown.
Our mission is to promote cohesive community building through collaborative art and placemaking. We strive for creating inclusive public spaces that reflect the cultural diversity of our community.
Community building through collaborative participative art
Our mission is to bring the community together to reclaim Franklin Street with public art and honor the history which was lost in 1963.
Reflective of our community's diversity
Our mission is to provide the community a shared place to collect, connect & celebrate. An all inclusive public space serving youth to seniors, families, students, residents, visitors and under-eserved people of our city.
Foster the return of a vibrant
Our mission is to foster emerging underserved local artists by providing them a shared public space to engage with the community.