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The idea is non-controversial among members of the City Council: They all support the concept of a makeover for Capitol Mall.
And, they all like the idea of the city hosting a design competition for a remodel of the Mall from the riverfront to 9th Street.
The City Council gave its unanimous support to the fledgling plan, which was presented by Beth Tincher of the Economic Development Department Tuesday night. The details of the design competition would be crafted by city staff, the American Institute of Architects and stakeholders, according to a Nov. 10 city staff report.
Councilman Steve Cohn said he and council colleague Ray Tretheway have been working on the plan for a future revamping of Capitol Mall.
“But the whole idea would be to add value to Capitol Mall so that some of the stakeholders could chip in with whatever these streetscape costs might be,” Cohn said. “And I think it’s something that’s really going to tie in well with what we’re trying to do on the waterfront, with the Crocker [Museum], with K Street and with the Railyards.”
Details on funding for the project have not been decided. However, the Nov. 10 report notes that the city and the architects’ institute want to “solicit contributions to conduct the design competition and for the preparation of the Capitol Mall Plan and specific project design. Staff will report back to City Council if any city funds are requested.”
A working group of stakeholders suggested ideas for the remodel, such as setting up "iconic" art installations and creating additional public space, according to the report.
John Packowski, a Sacramento marketing and architectural design professional, urged the council to move ahead with the plan, despite the poor economy.
“There [are] going to be a lot of people that think we’re completely insane doing this with the current budget crisis that we have,” Packowski said. “But projects like this take time; they take a lot of energy ... but this is your chance to really get onto something that the public can latch onto and build something for generations to come.”
Read the report on the plan here.
Photo by Anthony Bento.
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.