New Castle,

Pennsylvania

Municipal Building
230 N. Jefferson Street
New Castle, PA  16101-2220
(724)656-3500

Downtown Revitalization

In the Spring of 2002, the City of New Castle began the revitalization of its downtown through a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Section 108 Loan Funds, and funds from local investors.  New concrete cartways (curb to curb) on East Washington Street and Mill Street have been constructed.  Utility company lines have all been upgraded and new storm and sanitary sewers were installed.  The project expanded the width of East Washington Street and part of Mill Street to re-create metered on-street parking.  All street improvements are handicap accessible and blend architecturally with the proposed private investments downtown.  A new public transit transfer station is being developed on a lot at the corner of East Washington Street and Croton Avenue to eliminate congested bus stops in the downtown area.

In addition to the streetscape and roadway improvements, the following are being constructed:

RIVERWALK PARK:

Water in any form has always been a people magnet.  The closer people get to it, the better.  The City of New Castle is fortunate in that it has Neshannock Creek and Shenango River running through the heart of the city.  In the early days, these waterways were strictly utilitarian.  In today's world, they can be developed as an integral part of the Downtown Revitalization.  The Riverwalk will provide a pedestrian connection between the parking, shopping, office and entertainment areas and serves as a focal point for downtown events as well.  It will incorporate a pedestrian-friendly way along the water with fronting on the new Cascade Center, a collage of old and new buildings, housing entertainment, restaurants and retail.  At the eastern end of the Riverwalk, there is a large open area with a small performing section that can be utilized for special events or simply as a place for leisure enjoyment and social interaction adding to the downtown experience.  The Riverwalk will allow pedestrians access to the waters edge for their viewing pleasure.  Throughout the Riverwalk, at the pedestrian level, there will be several cascading interactive water features that will be connected with a winding textured and colored concrete pattern, echoing the actual waterway below.  An iron railing between lighted stone piers is reminiscent of the lighting and architecture that was utilized on the bridges, streets and parks during an era when New Castle was enjoying the best times in its history.  To this add hanging flower baskets, colorful banners, lighting of the buildings and water, interesting street furniture and landscape to create a visually stimulating and festive environment where people want to spend time.

GRANT STREET PARK:

Grant Street Park has been designed to provide needed parking to the business and public/semi- public agencies and services located in this area.  It also serves to define the north edge of the downtown district as it interfaces with the historic North Hill District.  It is designated to be a passive park for quiet enjoyment by the people who live in the adjacent area.  The area will have a small botanical garden which may be used to educate children and adults as to the species of plants and trees that inhabit the park.  This added feature would also help to draw pedestrians through the downtown district as part of the overall downtown New Castle experience.

ZAMBELLI PLAZA:

Zambelli Plaza has been designed to be a focal point of the downtown experience.  It is located at the main intersection of downtown including East Washington Street (East/ West) and Mill Street (North/South).  The plaza will provide a counterpart and respite to the urban fabric of the intersection, which is the heart of the overall Downtown Revitalization.  The design incorporates a classic tiered water fountain within an iron gazebo  for  visitors  to the  downtown to rest,

relax and interact.  A highlight of the park will be a fireworks sculpture that will illuminate at night.  The sculpture will symbolize the tremendous impact that the fireworks industry has had on the City of New Castle and will recognize the Zambelli family who donated a key piece of property to the project.  There will also be a small landscaped area that will accommodate outdoor table and chair seating.  This area will complement the adjacent retail businesses as well as supplement staging of large scale events.  A component of this project is the addition of a 20 car parking area that is immediately adjacent, but physically screened from the park, with access off of Sycamore Alley.

EAST WASHINGTON STREET BRIDGE:

In addition to providing a physical connection from one side of the Neshannock Creek to the other, the East Washington Street Bridge adds aesthetic beauty to the Riverwalk and the Downtown Revitalization.  Although there will be no structural repairs to the bridge, many superficial improvements will be made to incorporate common elements that are being used throughout the Revitalization projects such as the stone work that will face the bridge structure.  The bridge railing will be black iron, set between stone piers.  The stone piers will have light posts on top replicating the bridge's original lighting.  The light posts will have paired hanging flower baskets.  The sidewalks crossing the bridge will be done using the same features of all the new sidewalks including smooth concrete bands and exposed aggregate insets.  The design and  materials utilized will serve to tie together visually the development that is and will be taking place on both sides of the Neshannock Creek.  The City of New Castle has and will continue to work with PennDOT and their requirements/permits on the completion of this project.

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