Project: Public Space Empathy Analysis

  • Conduct meaningful observation and analysis of a site.
  • Research adjacent sites, buildings and context for design insight and inspiration.
  • Utilize freehand sketching, diagramming, and drawing.
  • Creation of Visual Site Map in Illustrator.
  • Use of Google Earth and Google Earth History.

The Site: Route 66 Plaza in Winslow Arizona

The Route 66 Plaza in Winslow Arizona is a 13,000 square feet public performance park used as a central gathering spot for locals, and hosts festivals, concerts, and the community Christmas Tree. This analysis project focused on studying patterns of use, circulation, sun direction, and how the site changes throughout the day, conducted through observation and interviews.

The plaza’s evolution can be seen in the Google Earth History images. The site has gradually improved since it’s creation in 2004 from a burned lot, but needs better seating, better circulation between the adjacent Standing on the Corner Park, and flexible space for vendors.

Site History

Winslow’s history plays a big role in this plaza. The corner of 2nd Street and Kinsley Avenue was the epicenter of town. Like many Route 66 towns, the i40 bypass negatively impacted the community.

 To make matters worse, in the late 90s, the building on that key intersection burned. The charred lot made an already depressed town even sadder, until 1999, when a small group of citizens created a park on the burned lot, themed after the Eagles song Take it Easy

As hoped, the park revitalized the town and drew tons of tourists who wanted to Stand on a Corner in Winslow Arizona with a bronze of Jackson Browne and a flatbed Ford truck. 

But then catastrophe struck again. In 2004, the building with the mural caught fire. Thankfully, fire crews saved the iconic wall, but once again, the town had a burned lot to contend with. 

And that was how the Route 66 Plaza came to be.

Adjacency to Key Tourist Attraction, the Standing on the Corner Park.

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