APA Picks 10 Great Places In America: Public Spaces
The APA publishes a yearly selection of choices for great public spaces across America. This year's list has a balance of ample parkland, waterways, and green space as well as historical treasures, with buildings that date back to 1857.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park, located in Nashville, Tennessee, was designed to offer the city a park north of the State Capitol. The mall has a long green lawn that provides views of the State Capitol. It features the Tennessee Plaza that offers a 200-foot-wide map of the state which is "one of the largest accurate renditions of a geographic area ever produced," according to the APA. A World War II memorial commemorating those who fought valiantly in the war as well as an outdoor amphitheater where visitors can enjoy live music shows. There are also a number of cultural activities and events that are held at the park. The annual Tennessee History Festival can be found there as well as countless candlelight vigils, charity walks, and country music marathons that occur throughout the year.
In Indianapolis, Indiana, there is the Monument Circle which "is a natural gathering place for the city," says Jeff Smulyan, CEO and President of Emmis Communications. The Circle is located in the downtown district where many of the large buildings date back to the 1857. There are two men who take credit for this redefined public space. Architects by trade, Preston C. Rubush and Edgar O. Hunter changed the area from small, Victorian-era buildings to distinctive 1920s office buildings. The Circle is the center of culture as well as home to many citywide events. There is the Christ Church Cathedral which was built in 1857. The Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade is held there just before the Indianapolis 500 auto race that takes place over the Memorial Day weekend. The Hilbert Circle Theatre, located in the circle as well is home to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.