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

DOT made the short block of South Elliott Place between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue car-free using paint and planters in 2012. Now it's made of more solid stuff.

Photo: David Meyer
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
The same block in 2018. Photo: David Meyer
The same block in 2018. Photo: David Meyer

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Eyes on the Street: Fowler Square Plaza Opens in Fort Greene

|
Fort Greene’s newest public plaza opened today and Brownstoner was on the scene to capture the moment. The plaza, which reclaimed space for pedestrians on a short, lightly-trafficked block of South Elliott Place between Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue, connects the sidewalk to an existing public triangle. Even though construction only finished today (because the […]

Tonight: Help Shape the Future of Fort Greene’s Fowler Square

|
NYC DOT, Council Member Tish James, Community Board 2, and the Fulton Area Business Alliance are hosting a community workshop tonight to gather ideas for a new plaza at Fowler Square — the triangle formed by Fulton Street, Lafayette Avenue, and South Elliot Place in Fort Greene. In addition to lending your expertise as the […]

Clinton Hill Celebrates Putnam Plaza With Dance Party

|
Last Monday, DOT workers laid down gravel and epoxy on top of the asphalt on a block of Putnam Avenue, transforming the area between Fulton Street and Grand Avenue from through street to public space. On Sunday, Clinton Hill came out to celebrate. The opening weekend block party was captured by local documentary maker Adele […]

What’s Up With the Short Raised Bike Lane By Times Square?

|
New curb-protected raised bike lane 7th Av/46th in Times Sq – sadly it’s only 1 block, w weak connexns to N & S pic.twitter.com/nPIzbMCUu4 — Jon Orcutt (@jonorcutt) January 21, 2016 Yes, there is now a short segment of raised bike lane on Seventh Avenue at Times Square. TransitCenter’s Jon Orcutt tweeted the picture above last […]

Eyes on the Street: Pedestrians Get Room to Breathe at Astor Place

|
The redesign of Astor Place and Cooper Square, first unveiled in 2008, is nearly complete. The new layout greatly expands pedestrian space in an area with lots of foot traffic. While some construction work is still in progress around the subway entrance between Lafayette Street and Fourth Avenue, the rest of the sidewalk expansions are all but finished — missing only final landscaping […]