Help redesign Moore Square

RALEIGH No matter what visitors use Moore Square for, some agree is adds a nice touch to downtown Raleigh.

"During the day it's perfect down here," herb farmer Steve Herrett told Eyewitness News.

But others say the square has its issues.

One of those issues is concert crowds that leave the landscape a little worn, and the other is a consistent homeless presence.

"It's also an area of town where there are some folks hanging out there, not only during the day but at night, and there is, not a lot of crime, but there is an issue," Meeker said.

Because of those reasons, the city wants an improvement on the 217-year-old square.

"It's a chance for us to take a re-look at how we can better use this park," said Mitchell Silver, planning director.

Raleigh announced it is going forward with the contest to redesign the space. In upcoming weeks, there will be two open calls for ideas for anyone to make suggestions about changes.

Following the open call, designers will submit their plans.

Only design and engineering professionals and college students majoring in design or engeneering-related fields may submit a plan to the city. There is an entry fee and prize money for the top three designs.

"Raleigh is looking for a plan that both honors the history of Moore Square, but also puts it to work for the 21st century," Meeker said. "We don't have any preconceived ideas of what it should be."

Eyewitness News asked around and found a few suggestions.

"There's a lot of trees but the businesses are still very present," business owner Adam Cave said. " It'd be nice if the businesses sort of fell away in a more of a Central Park sort of feel."

"I think a fountain would be really nice," business owner Sherrill Laffey suggested. "Some water would add great serenity to the place."

Meeker hopes the city will select a winning design this fall and use it as a guide to begin the makeover next year.

Since the state owns the land Moore Square sets on, any redesign will have to be approved by the state.

Registration will start Aug. 3 and the deadline to register is Sept. 10.

The last day to submit design proposals is Sept. 29. The winning designs will be announced at the Raleigh Wide Open 4 celebration on Oct. 24.

The designs will be on display in a downtown location and posted on the City of Raleigh's website at

The public have an opportunity to comment on the winning designs.

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