Old Central City in Huntington, West Virginia is a retail and industrial district rich in history and full of small-town charm. In the heart of the district is a grand gazebo, which has served as the focal point for events and street fairs. The City of Huntington, working with local shop owners and other interested parties, was looking for ideas to reinvigorate the gazebo property and to make it more attractive not only for special events, but for everyday use. Chapman Technical Group (GRW) was engaged to develop concepts and a master plan of development which the City can use to upgrade the property as funds become available.
The gazebo itself is a landmark for the area, but the area surrounding the gazebo had become tired and the spaces themselves were not inviting for everyday use. The new master plan creates two café plazas that act as outdoor rooms and provide an inviting place for visitors to relax with a cup of coffee or a sandwich from nearby restaurants. Careful planning of spatial relationships provide a variety social opportunities, affording visitors the opportunity to sit together, or to maintain a comfortable distance to ensure a feeling of safety. Pedestrian corridors are designed to provide ample public space which is important for people just passing through the space.