Columbus Downtown Entrance Plaza Project


Aerial view of site; courtesy City of Columbus, Indiana


Client: City of Columbus (IN) and the Columbus Redevelopment Commission
Facilitator: Columbus Design Institute
Type: RFQ, one-stage, interview process
Eligibility: teams of design professionals
Language: English
Budget: $450,000 of which no more than $50,000 allotted for design
February 22, 2024 RFQ Issued 
March 7, 2024 Optional on-site meeting  (signup necessary)
March 21, 2024 – Submittal due 
April 8-12, 2024  – Interviews 
April 24, 2024 – Selection of design team
May – August 2024 – Design
TBD – Construction bidding
TBD – Construction 
TBD – Project completion


The Downtown Entrance Plaza is approximately 1.5 acres and encompasses two plazas located on the north and south sides of State Road 46, just a short distance northeast of the Robert N. Stewart Bridge. As a main entry into Columbus, approximately 28,000 vehicles pass through this plaza each day. The areas have, at times, been separately or jointly referred to as the POW/MIA or Law Enforcement Plaza, the Robert D. Garton Veterans Plaza, and the Public Safety Plaza. Viewed from above, the two halves form a circle. The plaza is immediately south of the Cole, a large apartment building, and has the potential to serve as a park amenity for the residents. 



The site was originally designed by Michael Van Valkenburg and Associates (MVVA) in the fall of 2000 as a green space to be experienced from a vehicle. In 1997, MVVA designed the Veterans Memorial and Courthouse Square Park, which are adjacent to this site. There have been some additions to the site over the years, but the general layout and circular form with plantings remain.


Project Goals 
01 Transform this gateway entry to the city to be more attractive, safe, and accessible for all while maintaining green space and allowing more activity from and interaction with downtown residents, employees, and visitors. 
02 Collaborate with organizations with a stake in the property to creatively solve site deficits and design for greater use, enjoyment, and connectivity to the 1821 Trail, downtown, and future riverfront development. 
03 Improve pedestrian-friendly design features with the vehicular experience ensuring the site design creates a positive experience and complements the key entry features of the Bob Stewart Bridge, Veterans Memorial Park Plaza, and the Bartholomew County Courthouse. 
04 Ensure compliance with the American Disabilities Act and the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWG).

For information and to download the RFQ, go to:
Questions regarding RFQ process: :