Downtown Appleton Installs a Seasonal Parklet: A New Form of Public Seating
Appleton Downtown Incorporated (ADI) and Creative Downtown Appleton (CDA) are preparing to welcome a new parklet and public seating option to the Downtown Appleton district. This seasonal parklet will transform two on-street parking spaces to activate the streetscape and provide accessible general public seating. The parklet will begin installation later this week, with anticipated completion to be by Mile of Music (August 5-8) and remain up through the end of September.
The parklet deck will be placed on State Street, between Muncheez Pizzeria and Stateview Commons, utilizing two parking stalls in front of the Mile of Music mural (painted by artist, Chad Brady). The deck-like platform will incorporate a variety of features including tables with chairs, a bike rack shaped like a musical note, safety features like a fence and lighting elements, as well as planters featuring fresh herbs available for restaurants and the public to enjoy. Of course, an element of public art will also be incorporated with new artwork by Chad Brady; the planters on the parklet will be wrapped in beautiful renditions of world instruments.
“We are beyond excited to bring this new public seating option to our district,” shares Jennifer Stephany, executive director for ADI and CDA. “The parklet will add value to the surrounding area as it enhances resident interaction, encourages pedestrian traffic and highlights the character and walkability of the neighborhood, ultimately translating to economic impact for surrounding businesses.”
The parklet will provide accessible outdoor seating for dining, resting, or visiting. The desire for outdoor seating has grown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new parklet will provide much-needed general public seating on the west end of College Avenue.
“We have seen successful parklet projects in our community already, like the patio space between the 222 Building and Copper Rock Coffee,” Stephany states. “It has been well used and has led to an increased interest from residents, business owners, and the community at large to create additional public spaces like this.”
This project was made possible for the community due to the generous support of AARP. The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements to communities that jump-start long-term change. It is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. To learn more, visit aarp.org/Livable.
Additional support for the project comes from partners, Tundraland and Renewal by Andersen, whose expertise will assist with assembling the seasonal parklet each year. The full cost of the parklet and amenities will be funded through the support granted to CDA/ADI, as well as the parking fees for the two stalls and the maintenance of the parklet.
Creative Downtown Appleton Inc.’s mission is to create and enhance the cultural environment of Downtown Appleton by providing opportunities for community access to arts, music and cultural activities. As the premier arts and entertainment district in its region, the downtown district draws visitors from all over the Fox Cities and beyond. CDA's past projects include a variety of livability enhancements such as public art murals, outdoor seating and walkability projects.