Archive for Thursday, August 28, 2003

Sesquicentennial Plaza at Clinton Lake still among plans for 2004 celebration

August 28, 2003


Members of the committee planning the city's 150th birthday will go ahead with plans for a Sesquicentennial Plaza near the Clinton Lake dam.

The Sesquicentennial Commission is paying for an architectural study for the plaza, and members want to have an event in October to show off the site, which is on 1,500 acres of land the city leases from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"I think we've got to get the public out there and get them to see it," said Clenece Hills, chairwoman of the Sesquicentennial Commission. "It's an amazing place. It's crying out for something to be there."

The plaza is one of several projects in the works surrounding the city's 150th birthday, which is Sept. 18, 2004.

The city has issued a request for proposals for an additional architectural study for the Sesquicentennial Plaza. Preliminary plans call for a circular plaza 160 feet in diameter that would include a timeline of Lawrence history. It also would have an area where presentations about Lawrence history could be made.

The plaza project has been tied to a possible amphitheater with seating for 5,000 people at the site, but Lawrence city commissioners this summer put the amphitheater on hold because of its projected cost -- about $1.27 million.

The approximately $25,000 needed for the study will be paid for by the Sesquicentennial Commission. The commission would raise private money for the plaza, with a possible groundbreaking date near the city's 150th birthday.

"One of the outputs of this will be a rendering, something you can take out for fund raising," said Bill Crowe, a commission member. "It'll be something you can get your hands on."

Other projects in the works for the 150th birthday include:

  • A historical map showing Lawrence in 1854, with a timeline of city history. It is due out in early 2004.
  • A parade the morning of Sept. 18, 2004. It probably would be followed by a festival at South Park.
  • A compact disc and Web site presentation of local history for use by Lawrence elementary school teachers.
  • Building a new display case for the historic bell housed at Lawrence High School.

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