More in Moore

June 7, 2009 

Why not? Yes, why not go public with attempts to dress up old Moore Square in downtown Raleigh, one of the five original squares in the city's design? City officials want public ideas about how to make the square more user-friendly and attractive. They are having a contest with a cash prize of $6,000 to encourage people to participate in a design competition.

One possible hindrance: The large metallic city acorn ("City of Oaks" is a nickname, you know) now in place stays where it is. One hopes the final decision will not be to pair a large metal squirrel with the acorn.

Moore Square has the advantage of a location in the midst of a blossoming entertainment and arts district. Already, it is in frequent use for events such as concerts and festivals. It also acts as a bridge of sorts between the commercial downtown and neighborhoods to the east.

Although heavily used, the square sometimes seems a bit down at the heels. Bringing it up to its full potential as an urban gathering place and showcase for public art is a good priority for the city government to set.

Raleigh has not been particularly adventuresome in its concepts for public spaces. Let us hope that those who seek to enhance Moore Square won't be afraid of ideas that are a bit "out there," attention-getters and conversation pieces for downtown.

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