The New York based firm – Scape Landscape Architecture – was selected by Johnstown city council back in February, with two local companies, Thaddeus Pawlowski, and CJL Engineering acting as subconsultants to lead the Main Street Corridor and Central Park revitalization project. The funding for the project comes from the city’s ARPA funds, or the American Rescue Plan Act funds provided for Covid-19 pandemic relief, and the city’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Officials tell us the project will focus on downtown Johnstown with the goal of increasing the population in Johnstown while boosting local business and spending.
“We hope that the design concepts that we showed today really reflect the energy in the community and build on that energy, We look forward to taking back what we heard today and working on the design concepts further with the best landscape architects in the world . They’re inspired by not just the energy of the people that are here but the beautiful natural environment. The history of this place, the resilience of the people and they’re just so excited about the project just as is the entire community that we spoke with today.”
The design group has been holding public meetings and focus groups in order to make a community-informed decision on the final design.
“We’ve been having these public meetings, but we’ve also been having focus groups, For instance, a group of veterans to talk about what to do with the monuments. We think that we can make a park plan that really celebrates the great service and sacrifice of our veteran community.
Kate Orff, a Time 100 recognized landscape architect, is leading the design process. She showed the public three of the potential designs for the project and asked for feedback using questionnaires of which almost 300 people filled out.
“What we’ve done is develop three different concepts, They all have different emphases and different approaches. So, the idea is not to just pick A, B, or C, or 1, 2, or 3, but really to get feedback from the public on what’s really working or not working in each of the approaches What’s really important is to seize this moment and take this investment and really transform it and push it into a future for prosperity for the whole region and really not lose this moment in time or lose this opportunity.”
We also spoke with some local community members about their thoughts on the designs.
“This is going to add that ability to attract folks that are from here and want to move back, New jobs and clean tech, equity opportunities, economic development. This is going to attract small businesses, minority owned businesses, excited just to see that interest in revitalization.”
The feedback will be consolidated by the design group and another open house will take place on August 30th.