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Main Street Chillicothe Wins Great Public Space Award

by Ben White, Director 9. April 2019 17:05

The Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) presented three Great Places in Missouri awards on March 6th, 2019, at the State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.  The honorees were Silver Moon Plaza, Chillicothe; High Street, Jefferson City, and Downtown Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit, MO.  Awards were presented to the recipients by Jason Ray, AICP, President, APA Missouri.
 
The Great Places in Missouri program was started in 2014 to recognize neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces throughout Missouri that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire residents and visitors alike.  The Great Places in Missouri program was modeled after APA’s Great Places in America Program that has recognized 290 neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces around the country since 2007.
 
“The 2019 Great Places in Missouri are extraordinary examples of what good planning can do for communities,” said Jason Ray, AICP, APA Missouri President. “This year’s award winners are high quality public spaces that encourage community building, create connections between people and their City, implement multiple elements of planning efforts, and promote economic growth.  APA Missouri is proud to have such great examples of what good planning can create in our state. We congratulate the communities on this well-deserved honor.” 
 
Silver Moon Plaza in Chillicothe, Missouri was honored as a Great Public Space in Missouri.  It is considered to be a single lot oasis in the heart of Chillicothe’s downtown, which makes it an excellent example of planning in a small community.  A result of the Missouri DREAM Initiative, Silver Moon Plaza was a vacant lot and eyesore in downtown, in the early 2000’s but was transformed into a dynamic and active community space.  In 2009, the community and planners worked through a process to identify desirable uses for the lot.  The final plan and subsequent design and engineering resulted in Silver Moon Plaza.   The Plaza is a go-to location for prom and senior photos, marriage proposals, weddings, band and choir performances, and downtown festivals, and seasonal holidays.
 
Silver Moon Plaza is maintained, and programmed by Main Street Chillicothe and located on land donated by a local agribusiness individual.  The agricultural identity has been continued through the corn, wheat and soybeans metalwork on the entry archway, the focal point of the plaza.  Silver Moon Plaza characterizes a “great public space” through its plan implementation and as a gathering place for the community that reflects the character and heritage of Chillicothe.
 
Proclamations were presented to Main Street Chillicothe by our State Representative, Rusty Black, and our State Senator, Dennis Hoskins.   The delegation from Chillicothe that was on hand to be a part of the ceremony were:  Ben White, Executive Director, Main Street Chillicothe; Mayor Reed Dupy; Darin Chappell, City Administrator; Mr. Ed Robertson, Main Street Board President; Jay Saucedo, Assistant Director for Main Street Chillicothe; Crystal Narr, Executive Director for the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce;  Amy Supple; Tourism Director; and Robert Smith, Main Street member and Manager of Fairfield Inn Chillicothe. 

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