A ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held to announce that the City of Elmira’s North Main Street Cultural Connector is now officially open. The event, held by City officials, received local news coverage.
The North Main Street Cultural Connector Project is part of Elmira’s effort to revitalize the downtown business district. The main objectives of the project are to improve safety of a five-way intersection and to improve connectivity between downtown and Elmira College by creating a pedestrian friendly environment. Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects (TWMLA) was selected to provide overall guidance for streetscape aesthetic treatments and to design the distinctive roundabout in the middle of the five-way intersection. The unique gateway feature was designed to help build a sense of local identity, and is inspired by local architectural landmarks, history, and the natural environment.
Locally-sourced bluestone boulders represent the iconic flat-top hills that surround the City of Elmira, and are carefully placed to frame views of important architecture. Stepped stone paving between the boulders represents the bed of the nearby Chemung River. Wire sculptures of predatory birds refer to eagles – mascot of Elmira College; and ospreys – local favorites that nest along the Chemung River. The decorative pavement commemorates the former red brick paved streetscape, and granite bands engraved with quotes from individuals connected to Elmira are meant to entertain, inspire, and educate on the deeper story of the City.
“A public art installation of this magnitude demonstrates Elmira’s ever-growing capacity for community connection to its past, present and future. The sculptures, engravings and quotations represent integral parts of our City’s compelling story, from voices that travel across history,” explained City of Elmira Second District Councilperson Brent Stermer.