Five Points Plaza — It’s Open!
Last month the City of Charlotte cut the ribbon on Five Points Plaza in the Historic West End. This public space is the first that the City has constructed in 30 years — the last was Polk Park at Trade and Tryon streets. Located at the intersection of W. Trade St. and Beatties Ford Rd. directly across from historic Johnston C. Smith University, Five Points Plaza was identified as the top project in the City’s Comprehensive Neighborhood Improvement Program (CNIP). In many ways this intersection is the heart of the Historic West End community, serving as a gateway to the larger Beatties Ford Road corridor. The center of the historic African-American community in Charlotte, this corridor has seen many investments that celebrate and lift high that history. Five Points Plaza is made up of two public spaces and includes a splash pad, swings, an amphitheater, tables and chairs and other seating options, public art, and enhanced landscaping. The design directly reflects the co-creation engagement process done with community members. These are the elements that were most important to have in their space.
Most importantly, the community and the City want to see Five Points Plaza be an active, vibrant, and bustling public space. The City of Charlotte and the Historic West End community received a grant by the Knight Foundation for almost $400,000 to program and manage the plaza for three years after its opening. For the last year, the Five Points Plaza Management Team, a grassroots community organization, has been working hard to build an organizational structure to set the vision for the plaza. Focusing on sponsorship, community outreach, programming, and marketing will ensure this plaza can become the West Side hub it is envisioned to be. This work is being supported by the Urban Design Center’s Event Coordinator, Jessica Macks. Her expertise in event planning and building relationships in the African-American community is an incredible asset.
Jessica worked hand in hand with the Management Team to plan and execute the Grand Opening of Five Points Plaza. This day-long celebration kicked off with the ribbon cutting with City of Charlotte leadership followed be interactive activities like yoga, African drumming, double dutch jump roping, art walks, and roller skating. It was a chilly day but that didn’t stop the Historic West End community from celebrating the opening of their new public space. Additionally, the Grand Opening was sponsored by three headlining sponsors: Atrium Health, Fifth Third Bank, and Lowe’s. Each of these organizations believe in the vision for Five Points Plaza. Congratulations to the Management Team for securing these sponsors for the big day.
The excitement doesn’t stop here. Stay up to date on what is happening at the plaza by visiting www.fivepointsplaza.com and visiting the Management Team’s Facebook and Instagram accounts at @fivepointsplaza. The team is working on a busy event calendar for the Spring. Next up… Opening of the Splash Pad!