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Eyes on the Street

Eyes on the Street: Fort Greene’s Fowler Square Plaza Is Back and Better Than Ever

1:01 PM EDT on May 31, 2018

Photo: David Meyer

The permanent construction of Fowler Square Plaza in Fort Greene is complete, and it looks gorgeous.

Six years ago, the short block of South Elliott Place between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue was a through street lined with parked cars. In 2012, DOT repurposed the street for people using its quick-build toolkit -- paint, planters, and other temporary materials -- enlarging the public space around the statue of Civil War officer Edward Fowler.

The Department of Design and Construction began building out the plaza in concrete in January 2017. Work was expected to take nine months, but as is typical of DDC street projects, delays ensued and construction didn't wrap up until last month.

It's hard to remember now, but a few people who predicted this project would be a catastrophe got a ton of coverage before it was implemented in 2012. Some insisted they needed this block as a through route for driving even though all of South Elliott Place is just a few blocks long. Another plaza opponent tarred the expansion of pedestrian space as the work of the "greedy 1%."

This is what all the fuss was about:

Fowler Square and South Elliott Place in 2011. Photo: Google Maps
Fowler Square and South Elliott Place in 2011. Photo: Google Maps
Fowler Square and South Elliott Place in 2011. Photo: Google Maps
The same block in 2018. Photo: David Meyer
The same block in 2018. Photo: David Meyer
The same block in 2018. Photo: David Meyer

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