At 35, the 16th Street Mall has some problems — including image problems — that might lead to a pricy facelift, as Margaret Jackson reported in her recent story "Malled."
In order to help reinvigorate the mall, the Downtown Denver Partnership introduced Meet in the Street two years ago, programming such crowd-drawing events as Lucha Libre wrestlers on the mall on certain summer weekends; it added the Prototyping Series, which asked Denverites for ideas on how to activate the mall, last summer. And now it's bringing back the Prototyping Series for a second round, this time with a theme of "My 16th Street." Proposals to create an engaging sense of place on the mall are being accepted through 10 a.m. May 15; the winner will debut at the first Meet in the Street event this summer.
“We are pleased to once again showcase community-driven ideas that support the 16th Street Mall’s future as an authentic, self-sustaining place that is supported by the entire community,” said Adam Perkins, urban planning manager for the Downtown Denver Partnership, in announcing this year's project. “The 2017 Prototyping Series will play a significant role in enhancing the downtown experience for the nearly one million people who visit the mall each month, and we look forward to helping bring these engaging, place-making concepts to life.”
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In its second year, the Prototyping Series is seeking prototypes that support leveraging the mall median as a public space, as well as ideas that create a semi-permanent, multi-functional performance stage to encourage spontaneous use and musical performances.
Accepted applicants will be notified by May 26; they'll receive a $3,000 stipend to support the project's creation and installation. Accepted submissions will go on display on July 8 to coincide with the first day of Meet in the Street, and will stay on the mall through at least September 4.
The 2017 Prototyping Series will also resurrect three of the successful prototypes from last year’s Downtown Denver Prototyping Festival: "Wheels Go Round," winner of a 2016 Mayor’s Design Award; "Ghost Tree" and "Rainbow Street Seating," which has remained on the mall since last summer.
For more information or to apply for the Prototyping Series, visit downtowndenver.com.