A modest granite monument was once the only visual reminder of Sycamore Hill Baptist Church and the ‘Downtown’ community once located at Town Common. Although there were a limited number of physical elements to remember ‘Downtown,’ residents still recall the spirit and vitality of the predominately African American neighborhood, which was eradicated because of the City’s Urban Renewal project in the 1960s.
The design team an all-inclusive engagement process to listen to and interpret the community’s visions and concerns. The resulting Plaza is an empowering public space that serves as a prominent western gateway into the park that memorializes the ‘Downtown’ community. Anchoring the Plaza is a 48-foot-tall iconic tower that interprets the location of Downtown’s Sycamore Hill Baptist Church. The witness trees surrounding the Plaza are preserved and stand tall as the lone relics of the once-thriving Downtown community.