When the new Block 9 tower topped off late last year, the skyline of downtown Fargo changed forever. One of the best features of the new Block 9 project will be the new civic plaza just to the South of the tower. The Kilbourne Group says the tower and the plaza will be open late this year.
The Block 9 plaza is designed to be a central gathering space. Inspired by Main Street Square in Rapid City, South Dakota, the plaza will play host a full schedule of events programmed by the Fargo Parks District. The plaza will feature a bandshell for outdoor live performances, interactive water features for kids and adults, and will double as a groomed ice skating rink in the winter.
The ice rink will include a refrigeration system to extend the skating season and prevent slush on warmer days.
In warm weather, the Block 9 Plaza will come to life! Amenities include a large central lawn for residents to enjoy some urban green space. During the summer heat, both children and adults will enjoy a run through the ‘splash pad’ interactive water feature to cool off. The central lawn will be bordered on each side with shaded seating areas.
The Great Rides Bike Share station that called the plaza home before Block 9 construction will return. The Fargo bike-sharing system has one of the highest riderships in the nation.
For larger events, the plaza will feature a video screen, central lighting and sound and flexible seating around the performance stage. Public art and performances will find a new home in downtown Fargo.
Winter is more than a season in Fargo, and cold weather is a part of life. The Block 9 Plaza will transform into a hub of outdoor winter activity.
The lawn will be replaced by an outdoor ice skating rink with a seasonal warming house. The mechanically chilled rink will maintain good ice even on warmer days, extending the skating season. The rink will be groomed and managed by the Fargo Parks Department and skates will be available for rent.
Many of the summer features will be used during the winter months as well. Fargo doesn’t close for the winter and outdoor concerts and family events like Frostival and the Parade of Lights will provide opportunities for families to enjoy the plaza year-round.