Renderings for a vibrant multicultural plaza to be built in Oklahoma City’s historic Capitol Hill Calle Dos Cinco were unveiled on Thursday by the City of Oklahoma City Planning Department’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative.
The plaza will be located on Harvey Avenue, between SW 24th and SW 25th Streets. It will feature colorful art, Talavera tiles, an arched entry, a gazebo stage, trees, decorative lighting, seating, removable bollards and other amenities that reflect the neighborhood’s Hispanic culture.
Residents are encouraged to visit okc.gov/sni to view the renderings and provide feedback through Dec. 11, 2022. The renderings are also posted in the windows of the Community Action Agency at 319 SW 25th St. in Capitol Hill.
“The SNI team is proud to work alongside Capitol Hill and bring resources to this project that has been talked about for two decades,” said Shannon Entz, Program Planner for Neighborhood and Commercial District Revitalization. “OKC’s Hispanic community deserves to be celebrated and have a beautiful space that they can call their own.”
The idea of creating a plaza for community gatherings started more than twenty years ago.
“The plaza is our family, friends and neighbor’s gathering spot,” said Gloria Torres, Executive Director of Capitol Hill Main Street. “Whether you are from a Latin country or just the other side of town, the plaza will make you feel welcomed and at home.”
The $2 million project will be paid for with a combination of federal funds allocated to the City’s SNI.
"The plaza plans remind me of what the plazas in Tonala and Guadalajara look like,” said resident Grace Dawkins. “Every time my family visits Mexico we go to the market, get breakfast and eat at the plaza. My Abuelito and Abuelita live in the Capitol Hill area, and they will get a sense of nostalgia when they get to see and experience the new plaza."
The plaza will be managed by the Capitol Hill Business Improvement District. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2023.
The City of Capitol Hill was incorporated in 1904, before Oklahoma’s statehood in 1907. The bustling business district was annexed by Oklahoma City in 1911 for $12,000. Today, Capitol Hill is a multicultural neighborhood business district which is home to businesses, nonprofits and large events such as Fiestas de Las Americans.
The City’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative is a targeted neighborhood revitalization program that works alongside neighborhood residents to develop and implement strategies to improve their neighborhoods over a five-year period. There are three neighborhoods in the program, Capitol Hill and Metro Park, in Ward 6 and Capitol View in Ward 7. Examples of projects include home repairs, sidewalks, tree plantings, and improved public spaces. SNI projects are intended to be a catalyst for private investment in places that have seen disinvestment. Over the last four years, the City has invested $1.9 million in Capitol Hill and more than $5.7 million in private dollars has been invested.