Revealing a Creek to Revive Downtown

Civitas was a finalist in an international design competition to propose the day-lighting of the historic Town Branch Creek which runs in pipe below the core of downtown Lexington, KY. Once the reason for establishment of the town, and the source of water and power for mills, the creek was buried more than 100 years ago due to water quality and flooding concerns. As part of an overall downtown visioning plan for the community, town leaders sought to give new life to downtown by bringing the creek to the surface as a continuous greenway, public space, and active feature to catalyze economic and social innovation.

Civitas proposed designing the creek as a sequence of distinct events that related to each block of the downtown, with emphasis on making the creek visible, safe and available for play. A sequence of streetscape, plaza and parks were proposed to give identity to the different districts of this historic downtown.

Civitas also proposed removal of a centrally located elevated roadway and replacement with a new park that sits atop a building, bridges across Vine Street, and connects the University of Kentucky with the Transit Center, the Town Branch Commons, City Hall and Main Street.

Client: City of Lexington
Partners: Project for Public Spaces
Completed: 2013
Budget: Not established
Location: Lexington, KY