Construction work is underway on the Ithaca Commons. Actually, it is deconstruction work that is actually occurring. The City has removed the pavilion roofs and the demolition contractor has removed the trees and foliage. Soon the wood panel fence will be going up and the removal of the planters will begin.
I have been struck by the numbers of people who have come up to me to talk about the new Commons view. Scores of people have commented on how open and inviting the Commons space has become, even in the midst of a construction zone. One gentleman remarked to me that he had not seen this view of Cornell and East Hill and breadth of State/MLK Street since before the Commons was installed some 40 years ago.
We noticed the change immediately, even when the roofs were removed from the pavilions. All of a sudden the Commons felt lighter and the plaza space felt larger. You could actually see some of the historic facades on the buildings. When the foliage was removed, the look was even more pronounced. The buildings have become prominent, their architecture now showcased. The Commons feels spacious, the views are long and majestic. It feels safer and more secure. The pedestrian mall appears grander in scale.
If you have not experienced this change, I urge you to come downtown and walk the Commons. See for yourself these new views and vistas.
The Commons rebuild project is likely to have several different points in time where the public will get to see and experience something new and different. This is one of those points. It is fascinating to behold. Be sure you get to experience this remaking of our center city.