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.