Last week the Historic Landmark's Commission voted unanimous in favor of a city plan to revamp Ankeny Sqaure — the place where Skidmore fountain is and those people sold homemade Obama shirts all summer outside the Saturday Market — by installing 12 antique cast iron columns and 12 restrooms. Which means we now have a lush color drawing of the future of Skidmore Fountain. Check it out:


The DJC has the skinny on the project:

"A request for proposals from general contractors is expected to go out this summer for the first phase of the project, which will cost about $1.2 million. That phase includes 12 restrooms, the installation of about a dozen columns and the creation of an open air pavilion."

When the public process on this project started in force back in 2007, the PDC laid out the main goals of the makeover:
- fostering development of a nightlife and entertainment district
- increasing availability of public restrooms
- reconnecting the city to the waterfront
- activating ground floor uses and redeveloping surface parking lots
- increasing the residential mix to create a more vibrant neighborhood

The final pitch for the plan involves the 12 cast iron columns wrapping around the open space, which some people want to host a craft fair thing all year long. If federal grant money comes through, the city is planning to build a "historic interpretative center" about the neighborhood in the open air pavilion, too.