“Breathe!” architect David Rubin told his audience as he began a presentation on the next stages of Riverfront Fort Wayne. “Be Zen about this.”
Actually, no one appeared to be hyperventilating as Rubin began his presentation at Grand Wayne Center. But the level of interest in the plan to reinvent the downtown waterfront clearly remains high.
Maybe the free snacks lured some of the 200 who packed into the ballroom on a chilly evening. But the group was fully engaged as Rubin, head of the firm that will lead planning for the second and third phases, discussed the project.
Public involvement has been the cornerstone of the riverfront effort. Thursday's session was designed to facilitate input by encouraging the audience to offer their ideas on various aspects of the effort at stations around the room.
Rubin and Mayor Tom Henry emphasized the meeting was neither the first nor last opportunity for Fort Wayne's citizens to contribute ideas. Planners already have heard from more than 130 participants in 13 focus groups, according to Rubin. Two more sessions are planned; times and locations will be announced at riverfrontfw.org.
Before Rubin asked for even more ideas, Henry reminded the audience the dreams that guided Phase 1 are rapidly nearing reality. On the riverbanks between Harrison and Wells streets, Promenade Park will feature an amphitheater, a trail, a playground and a pavilion.