May 9, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center (DMC) are inviting the community to a Walking Tour and Ice Cream Social on Saturday, May 14 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The tour will begin at the City/County Parking Lot at 401 4 St SE and will conclude near the former Legends site on the west side of the river.
Self-guided tours can be taken at any time to gain an understanding of the sites at the various learning stations. Three guided tours are scheduled for 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30. The tour is designed to carry participants to both sites included in the Riverfront Small Area Plan to see how these central waterfront properties can be developed into a people-centric place that leverages downtown Rochester’s unique assets and helps to reestablish our community’s relationship with the Zumbro River. This is a family-friendly activity.
“The goal of the Ice Cream Social Walking Tour is to invite everyone to these spaces and help them to realize the potential of each space beyond surface parking,” said Project Manager Jaymi Wilson. “The tour will give everyone another opportunity to share their thoughts on what the future of these sites could be.”
The Walking Tour and Ice Cream Social are the latest in a series of community engagement tools guiding the Riverfront Small Area Plan to develop a market-supported vision for the downtown waterfront to link together several civic, cultural, and government assets to the heart of downtown Rochester. The process has included a public comment period, involved community co-designers, as well as a five-part virtual ‘Riverfront Talks’ series.
Find out more about the Riverfront Small Area Plan at the project website.
May 4, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and the City of Rochester would like to invite everyone to a Commemoration of Peace Plaza on Thursday, May 18th at 1:30 p.m. with remarks from DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb and Rochester Mayor Kim Norton. The Commemoration will acknowledge the history of this space and look to the future possibilities for our downtown and the Peace Plaza.
The Commemoration of Peace Plaza will be followed by a community-hosted celebration from 2:00 – 6:00 pm. “Partnerships have been an important piece of the Heart of the City project, so we are making partnerships a focal point of the event,” said Jamie Rothe, DMC’s Director of Community Engagement. “We want to highlight the multiple ways in which the Plaza was designed to be used by partnering with local organizations and community members.”
Activities are planned throughout the afternoon to showcase the new space:
- The Rochester Art Center will engage community members with public art in public spaces through the act of “en plein air” art making, as well as inviting attendees and passersby to create alongside experienced artists in mobile, pop-up sketching exercises.
- The Rochester Public Library will provide an opportunity to celebrate the art of words represented in the Peace Plaza inspired by the work of Ann Hamilton and Gwen Westerman.
- Local poet Danny Solis and other local artists will lead improvisational and interactive spoken word activities to aid people in feeling at home in the transformed Peace Plaza.
- Four, one-hour, family-friendly music performances by John Sievers and other musicians displaying Rochester’s diverse local music scene.
- Mindfulness Walks and Yoga Experiences with Maria Serbus from Grounded Evolution and Radiant SoL Yoga Studio to encourage participants and attendees to pause and take a mindful moment and to appreciate the world around them in this hustle and bustle world.
- A Sustainability Walk with the design team to learn about the design innovations incorporated into the project.
- A Celebration of Women in Construction. It took the hands of many to complete the first public realm project supported by Destination Medical Center. From design to the hand laying of thousands of granite pavers, this project was touched by many, including incredibly talented women. Meet the women who worked on this project and join as we celebrate all women that participated in Heart of the City. Hosted by NAWIC, City of Rochester, and DMC.
The first phase of Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City public realm project is a renovation of Peace Plaza and surrounding areas. The new design creates active, engaging experiences for residents, visitors, and patients in the heart of downtown Rochester. The updates provide enhanced safety measures, including curbless streets, and provide greater accessibility for people of all abilities. Movable seating options will allow for a variety of public programming. The addition of more trees as well as interactive art displays and water features will create a family-friendly space to gather in the downtown area.
For more information on the Commemoration of Peace Plaza and these activities, please visit the event page on the DMC website.