Welcoming visitors downtown is key to enhancing economic development.
The vitality and creative appeal of downtown Columbia make it a destination for tens of thousands of visitors each year. For too long, however, Columbia has lacked strong visual cues to alert visitors that they have arrived in the heart of our city. The Gateways project addresses this need in a dynamic way, with visual icons that welcome visitors downtown and encourage them to explore and experience Columbia.
The Downtown Community Improvement District is taking the lead in creating a unique visual identity for Columbia.
The Gateways is an exciting combination of decorative public art, street beautification, and enhanced pedestrian safety. It is a celebration of what makes The District the cultural, entertainment, and commercial heart of Columbia. The project includes an iconic Gateway Plaza at Broadway & Providence, and four distinctive Entry Gateways and pedestrian improvements at major entrances to downtown. A series of illuminated art installations called Light Hubs will span select downtown streets, sparking the imagination and reflecting our unique civic identity.
The largest public/private art initiative in city history.
The Gateways project represents an innovative public/private partnership. The Columbia City Council has endorsed The Gateways, granting the use of city-owned right-of-way for the project. With funding provided by the Downtown CID, the first three Light Hubs have been installed at Flat Branch Park, Wabash Station and the Sharp End. Grants and transportation funding will complement ongoing community donations to pay for additional Gateways project components.