The agenda for the July 10 meeting of the Urban Design Committee includes a look at a the “Conceptual Location, Character and Extent Review of the redesign of the 17th Street Farmer’s Market”:
The 17th Street Market project provides an urban, multi-purpose outdoor living room in the historic Shockoe Bottom National Historic District. The design of the plaza encourages both casual and highly programmed uses by providing an open field, outdoor rooms within bands of plantings and mature trees, pedestrian walkways and dedicated dining/retail zones for businesses fronting the square.
The proposed design of the 17th Street Market includes removal of the existing shed structure and the closing of 17th Streets North and South to vehicular traffic. The existing bull heads (from 6th St. Market) and the market bell will be incorporated into the new design. The existing cobblestone fishtail pavers will be incorporated into the new design. The street surfaces will be raised to match adjacent sidewalks creating a storefront-to-storefront pedestrian plaza, roughly the size of a football field.
Dedicated dining and retail space project out from the opposing building facades to encourage outdoor dining delineated by city standard brick pavers bounded by a line of re-used granite curbs from 17th Streets. Café dining railings, planters and furniture will comply with the COR Department of Planning and Development Review Sidewalk Café Design Guidelines. Opportunities for building mounted awnings will be provided to businesses lining 17th Street Market.
Adjacent to these dining zones lies an eight-foot wide pedestrian walkway running from Main Street to East Franklin Street.
Planting and tree bands, punctuated by masonry site benches and various sized “outdoor rooms” provide the interior edge of the pedestrian walkways. Within these bands, a modular subsurface integrated tree and storm water system supports the growth of larger caliper trees and deciduous shrubs while reducing storm water runoff. Pervious granite paving material routes storm water to the system and define open areas within the bands – some small enough for private conversation, others large enough for classes or group gatherings. The planting and tree bands provide space for bicycle racks, kiosks containing wayfinding and community-oriented signage and restrooms, smaller public art works and site-specific artifacts.
A thirty-foot wide zone marks the center of the 17th Street Market, allowing versatile, programmable space for outdoor markets, festivals, concerts, outdoor movies, and other activities and events the market managers and the people of Richmond bring to the space. A large-scale public artwork, designed into the project as a placeholder for a future yet funded installation, at the Main Street side and a pop-jet style splash pad at the East Franklin Street side serve as landmarks and place-making demarcations.
Project lighting includes puck-style lighting to illuminate the pedestrian pathway, wall mounted fixtures on the informational kiosks, integrated lighting within the fountain jets. Pedestrian scale City of Richmond standard lantern-type fixtures attach to taller poles at either edge of the main paver field, marching down the plaza and located within the one-foot wide re-used paver bands. These poles support banners, speakers, WiFi equipment, an overhead catenary cable system grid at twenty feet above the paving surface, and a festoon lighting system. Several openings within the cable grid allow City of Richmond’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services ladder access to adjacent buildings. All lights are to be LED.