Auburn City Council to hear proposals for renovated Central Square

By: Michelle Miller-Carl, Journal News Editor
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The Auburn City Council will weigh in on plans for Downtown’s Central Square during a meeting today. Meeting as the Auburn Urban Development Authority, which governs redevelopment areas in the city, the council will hear a proposal to officially name the intersection of Lincoln and High streets as “Historic Central Square.” They will also be presented with a plan drafted by the Endurance Capital Committee to honor endurance athletes and events with an “Endurance Walk of Fame.” Both are at the center of the first phase of the city’s Streetscape renovations. Crews are currently ripping apart the Lincoln Way/High Street intersection with plans to install public artwork, planter boxes, benches, commemorative pavers, a fire pit, living Christmas tree and more. Members of the public have been concerned inclusion of the walk of fame in an “Endurance Plaza” would supersede the Central Square name. But a resolution to be considered Monday would implement signage to designate the location officially as “Historic Central Square.” The proposal would also direct the Auburn Arts Commission to recommend pieces for three public art pedestals in Central Square, each representing a facet of Auburn. Those three pedestals would reflect Auburn’s Gold Rush history, the importance of railroads in shaping the city and the American River confluence, according to the resolution. A volunteer committee would also be formed to advise the council on future historical displays. Auburn Councilman Kevin Hanley (who also sits on the urban development board) authored the resolution after hearing comments from the public. “(This resolution) is making sure we recognize the history and other different elements in this first phase and put the misinformation to rest that this is just taken over by a small committee made up of endurance folks running the show, which is not true at all,” Hanley said. “I thought I’d put forward a consensus to unite a lot of residents, who we want to support. We want their good ideas and they’ve submitted good ideas, and this reflects that.” In another agenda item, the council will hear recommendations for the “Endurance Walk of Fame.” It would consist of three elements: an interpretive sign, including an elevation view of the Western States Trail; a listing of all Tevis Cup and Western States Run winners; and a series of 2-foot-by-2-foot granite tiles commemorating the founders of these and other similar events. There would be 39 tiles laid honoring people such as the late Tevis Cup founder Wendell T. Robie and signature events including the Auburn Triathlon. The proposal also includes draft wording for the selection of future walk of fame inductees. That process would include a public call for nominations, a public presentation of candidates and final approval by the city council. These items will be discussed during the Auburn Urban Development Authority meeting, which will be held immediately following the Auburn City Council meeting. The city council meets at 6 p.m. at city hall, 1225 Lincoln Way in Auburn. Michelle Miller-Carl can be reached at ------------ There are 39 “Endurance Walk of Fame” tiles being proposed to the City Council. The people/events/ entities inscribed on those tiles would be: • Auburn Endurance Capital of the World • Lincoln “Nick” Mansfield/Bill Patrick/Pat Sewell/Richard Highfill • Drucilla M. Barner • Wendell T. Robie • Gordy Ainsleigh • Jack Veal • Charles Barieau • Robert Montgomery Watson • Betty Veal, R.N. • Richard Barsaleau, D.V.M. • Jim Larimer • Auburn State Recreation Area • U.S. Forest Service • Mo Livermore/Shannon Weil/Phil Gardner/Curt Sproul • Robert Lind, M.D. • Auburn Century • Auburn Triathlon • Way Too Cool 50K • American River Classic • Western States Endurance Run Foundation • Western States Trail Foundation • American Endurance Ride Conference • American River 50-Mile Run • Cool Mountain Bike Race • Coolest 24-Hour Race Against Cancer