Plans should help Raleigh get more from Moore Square

An artist rendering of design plans for Moore Square.
An artist rendering of design plans for Moore Square. handout

For years, Moore Square has been a bit of an oasis in a part of downtown Raleigh that has long been trying to find its way. The square is a lawn space with trees and sidewalks bordered by restaurants and bars, the Marbles children’s museum and the City Market, a place with artsy businesses and restaurants.

Moore Square has been awaiting a vision from City Hall, which at last appears to be taking shape. A design plan before the Raleigh City Council looks good. It’s unfortunate it has taken this long to make progress.

The plan would have space for performers, including a plaza that might seat up to 500 people. That’s something the city needs. Lawn space might be used for other performances and even fitness classes, and there could be space built for community groups to use for meetings. Some of the oak trees that border the park would be thinned out, providing a clear view across the park from all angles. That’s seen as a considerable improvement in safety.

These are good ideas, but it seems any plans should put flexibility first. There may be events at Marbles, for example, that could use outdoor space. There are people in the city with vision who may yet come up with their own concepts for Moore Square, and let’s hope the city will be flexible enough to accommodate them.