The Institute for Quality Communities (IQC) has been working with Oklahoma City’s Capitol Hill commercial district, Calle Dos Cinco, to build a plaza for the community. This past summer, the IQC hosted a community workshop to hear from community members and create concepts for a plaza that would meet their wants and needs. After months of designing and planning, community volunteers worked with the IQC to construct a Pop-Up Plaza for community members to experience and evaluate before moving toward a permanent solution.

Image: Volunteer painting the street with washable paint to represent different plaza surfaces.

The Pop-Up Plaza was located on Harvey and Southwest 25th in the heart of Calle Dos Cinco, which serves as a key location for community events throughout the year. With picturesque views of downtown Oklahoma City and the historic Templo de Alabanza serving as a beautiful backdrop for the Pop-Up Plaza, Harvey and 25th was the perfect location.

Images: Different angles of the IQC Pop-Up Plaza, highlighting the cultural beauty of Calle Dos Cinco.

Various recycled materials were utilized to prepare the Pop-Up Plaza. Brightly painted tires represented curbs or bollards, and industrial spools and metal barrels signaled tables and seating. Wooden shipping pallets were repurposed into a stage that served as a main performance area or gazebo. Washable paint on sidewalks and streets represented different plaza surfaces and vegetation, and laser-cut stencils sprayed with chalk served as signage to guide people to the plaza.

Images: Painted tires and sprayed stencils used to create the environment of the Pop-Up Plaza.

At the Pop-Up Plaza, community members were able to experience what a permanent solution would be like. Music was played to create a festive atmosphere, and games like hopscotch and tic tac toe were available for family-friendly fun. Visitors could get lunch from local restaurants providing specials for the Pop-Up Plaza, as well as leave a “wish” for the district.

People were able to visit the Pop-Up Plaza for two days before it was deconstructed by volunteers. Feedback from visitors will be used to help guide future investments in public space in Capitol Hill.

The Institute for Quality Communities is located at the Gibbs College of Architecture. Learn more about the IQC here.