Cleveland Public Square set to re-open; was it worth the cost?

Cleveland Public Square set to re-open; was it worth the cost?

Moses Cleaveland is looking down on a whole different landscape these days: a Public Square missing Ontario Street, but with a cafe, amphitheater seating for concerts, grassy areas to eat lunch, or just enjoy the sunshine.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Jeremy Paris of the Group Plan has been overseeing the project.

"The Public Square is meant to be used, it's meant to be a place for people to gather or to use it for cultural events or to use it for community events," he said.

He admits the center portion of the space looks like a sea of concrete, but not for long. Soon it will come to life, with water he says "A half inch skim, sort of a reflecting pool and then fountain elements that come in. It's really an amazing addition to this. It changes the feel of the plaza."

The water will be bathed in colored light at night. Currently, 60,000 people a day move through the square. The goal is to have people come and stay for a while, not just hurry through, according to Paris.

"It's a place I think people have largely avoided or even looked through, and now people are going to come here and enjoy being here," Paris said.

Sustainability was a key consideration in the rebuild of the square. For example, utilities under the plaza are all accessible from outside the square, it won't have to be dug up. If it rains, this pavement is water permeable -- it will be collected underneath and reused. Underground pipes even feed water to the trees.

A broken pipe caused a massive sink hole in 2008. Several buildings were flooded. It won't happen again, as all utilities below are brand new. That accounts for $13 million of the cost; the other $37 million you're looking at.

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