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Syracuse University announces advisor to oversee Connective Corridor design competition
Syracuse University announces advisor to oversee Connective Corridor design competitionJune 21, 2005Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
Syracuse University has announced that Casey Jones, a nationally recognized architectural advocate and educator, will serve as the competition advisor for the design of the Connective Corridor, a three-mile-long route linking SU with downtown Syracuse. Jones’ appointment was announced this morning at Syracuse Stage, 820 East Genesee St.
Jones regularly works with many of the nation’s top architects and has served on numerous architect selection panels. He has worked in the government, private, and non-profit sectors and has experience executing complicated construction programs on both local and national scales.
The Connective Corridor, which was announced at a media event on March 21, will be a lighted pedestrian pathway and accompanying public shuttle bus circuit linking SU with downtown Syracuse’s arts institutions, entertainment venues and public spaces. The project will emphasize the idea of a “new city within the old,” thereby encouraging area residents, students and visitors to experience the city’s many cultural treasures and resources.
“I’m honored to assist the local entities and Syracuse University in this enterprise,” Jones says. “All around the country, towns are grappling with the issue of how to knit their communities back together and create more vital, pedestrian-friendly environments. The lighted path of Syracuse’s Connective Corridor will become a beacon that others will follow.”
Among the numerous venues, independent organizations and artists along the corridor: the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama complex, the new Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company/Community Folk Art Center facility (805 East Genesee St.), the Everson Museum of Art, the OnCenter, the War Memorial Auditorium, the John H. Mulroy Civic Center, the Onondaga Historical Association Museum, The Media Unit, the Downtown Writer’s Center, the Landmark Theatre, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology and historic Armory Square, and The Warehouse, a property being developed by SU on West Fayette Street.
The Connective Corridor will be created through a combination of public and private funds. Rep. Jim Walsh secured the first public commitment-$3.5 million allocated for the project in the 2005 federal highway reauthorization bill passed March 9 by the House of Representatives. And in March, Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company, announced the first private pledge-$1 million over the next two years.
Jones will oversee an invited competition, drawing upon nationally recognized and local design talent, for the design of the master plan. This plan will serve as a blueprint for the conceptual and physical framework of the overall project.
Mark Robbins, dean of SU’s School of Architecture, says Jones is a great fit for the Connective Corridor project. “Casey has experience at the national level with complex architecture and urban planning projects,” Robbins says. “He brings the unique combination of administrative ability and knowledge of innovative design, which will ensure that the connective corridor becomes a signature for the city of Syracuse.”
Interdisciplinary teams of architects, landscape architects, and graphic and industrial designers will be asked to propose their vision for the corridor in the form of drawings and computer simulations. Proposals will also be requested for specific designs for bus shelters, benches, lighting standards and future art commissions.
Competition images will be exhibited at SU and downtown, and a community forum will be held in response to the proposals before the winning team is selected. A jury of design peers and representatives from the community and SU will be assembled to review the entries and select the winning team.
Prior to joining the federal government, Jones helped establish the Van Alen Institute, one of New York City’s leading architectural non-profits. Jones served as the institute’s first associate director and executed a complex program of competitions, lectures, exhibitions, and workshops aimed at improving the quality of design in the public realm.
Jones has also taught urban design and architecture at Columbia University and the Parsons School of Design, and has directed a broad range of design competitions. For the federal government, Jones served as competition advisor for the Massena, N.Y. Border Station, and the National Indefinite Work Contract for the First Impressions Program. As a private contractor, he advised Real Art Ways, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, and the Connecticut Regional Council of Governments on their Busway Rapid Transit Design Competition. Jones also structured a competition for the new Motown Center Museum in Detroit.
Through his work at the Van Alen Institute, Jones has organized the following competitions: Design Ideas for New York’s Other River; New Visions: Design Ideas for Ruth Wittenberg Triangle; Cultural Information Exchange Pavilion for Wall Street; Public Property, and Ideas Competition for Governors Island; the new TKTS Discount Ticket Booth in Times Square; and two Dinkeloo Fellowships.
Jones is a regular visiting critic at architecture schools and professional organizations across the country. He holds degrees in architecture from the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, and has practiced architecture in Washington, D.C., and New York. Jones is a fellow of the Design Trust for Public Space, the Institute for Urban Design, and was a guest scholar in Urban Design at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in 2001.