PROJECT: New Haven Cultural District
LOCATION: New Haven, Connecticut
CLIENT: City of New Haven
COMPLETION: 1997, 2000
SIZE: 20 downtown city blocks
We prepared an overall strategy for the New Haven Cultural District that combines the extensive visual and performing arts resources of Yale University with those of the City of New Haven. New Haven is home to the Shubert Theater, the Long Wharf Theater, the Palace Theater, the New Haven Symphony, and a variety of smaller arts organizations. Yale’s facilities include two noteworthy museums, the British Art Center and the Yale Art Gallery.
The study recommenced forming a Cultural Arts Council to draw people to downtown New Haven and promote a synergy between the City and the University. Concepts include adaptive reuse of a late 1970s Macy’s building for an interactive museum and multiplex theater complex, consideration of a new performing arts center, and opportunities to establish an identifiable district through the use of unified streetscape, pedestrian linkages, lighting, signage, and information kiosks.
Initial design ideas include creating a “gateway” to the city; programming and planning arts events; establishing a visitor’s center for the distribution of information; creating mid-block pedestrian linkages through existing courtyards and alleyways; relocating bus transfer stations; improving pedestrian lighting; lighting specific Yale buildings at night; and using special paving to highlight key pedestrian areas.