Moore Square, recently completed, is a vibrant new place in Raleigh’s thriving downtown – an activated public space with activities and amenities to appeal to a broad array of users. A renovation, the project preserves essential elements of the extant square – its legacy oaks, historic circulation patterns and visual connections to its urban frame – while introducing new features to enhance vitality and allow for extended visits. A cafe building with restrooms, an interactive water feature, whimsical play elements, a large civic plaza, integrated art elements, extensive seating and large lawn are among the new civic infrastructure to enable the park’s success.
As one of the three remaining squares of William Christmas’ foundational Plan for Raleigh, Moore Square has a rich and storied history. Visually connected to the Old Market and punctuating Raleigh’s ‘Black Main Street’, Moore Square is a place of memory and culture. Often referred to as ‘The Grove’ – a nod to the majestic oaks that line its edges – the Square had suffered from a shortage of maintenance and various cycles of overuse/abuse from large-scale events. Despite these challenges, it remained central to the identity and image of the city, its revitalization rising to the top of all civic planning, including the recent Downtown Plan. Brie Hensold was the project manager for the Downtown Plan and Gina Ford led the design of Moore Square while principals at Sasaki.
Moore Square’s renovation is the result of extensive community engagement, great civic leadership and a broad technical and expert consultant team including Brad Goldberg (artist), Kimley-Horn (permitting and traffic), The Cultural Landscape Foundation, HR&A Advisors (governance), HLB Lighting, Dewberry (MEP) and Hanbury Consulting (history).
Photographs by Matthew Arielly and Tzu Chen.
International Downtown Association, Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence, 2021
Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance in Landscape, 2020
Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance in Public Spaces, 2020Project Images