Downtown – Akron, Ohio

Isaac Kremer/ August 24, 2018/ architecture, downtown, museum, placemaking/ 0 comments

We’ve heard many good things about Akron through the years. Upon a recent visit it was inspiring to see how much has been done to make their downtown a beautiful well-designed space. Some of the placemaking ideas we observed are detailed below.


Custom Designed Cast-Concrete Planters

These one-of-a-kind planters are throughout the downtown. They are each individually painted with different themes.


United Commerce Park

Massive fluted columns provide an entrance to this park between two buildings. They appear as if they have sat on this site unchanged for a century or more.

Assemblage featuring design elements from Akron.

Wooden fence artistically transformed.

Entablature locked into place with trees to either side.

View from inside the park looking out to the street with gated entrance.


Chameleon Cafe Akron

This cafe provides a third-place for people to gather together outside of work and home.

Movable table and chairs on the outside to activate the sidewalk.


Vacant Lot with Mural Wall


Akron Public Library

The Public Library has an extensive maker space.

Amphitheater space outside of the public library.


Bike repair station.


Rube Goldberg styled machine on hill slope.

Kinesthetic sculptures and mushroom sculptures provide a bit of happy and whimsy.


John S. Knight Center

This convention center has a welcoming well-appointed plaza to the front. We happened to visit on the last Friday that a vendor was preparing lunch outside for visitors to purchase. A sculpture anchors the plaza. Adirondack chairs provide for comfort. And some picnic tables give a space for outdoor dining.



Akron Art Museum

The Akron Art Museum with large cantilevered wings seemingly rising from the white-clad rectangular base.


View of the street with library to the right and convention center to the left.


The Bud and Susie Rogers Garden provides extensive outdoor public space for gatherings and performances.


An elevated garden brings a touch of life to the concrete covered surroundings.


A small plaza space outside of the museum provides a covered place for people to gather.


Abstract geometric forms of the glass wall covering the museum lobby, just off the main entrance.


Another view of the sloping curtain wall from street level.

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About Isaac Kremer

Isaac Kremer is a transformational leader with a track record of success revitalizing downtowns in the United States. He has written and spoken extensively. He's always on the lookout for new and innovative ideas to unlock the potential of downtown areas.

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