Two recent separate grants provided by the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) will mean plans for improvements along the 4th Street Commercial Corridor in Queen Village where a fire in late April ravaged a Fabric Row store, damaged others and claimed a fire captain’s life.

The Friends of Bainbridge Green (FOBG) received a $25K in kind service grant from CDC to help develop a master plan for greening the park on Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th Streets. That means CDC will provide planning services like landscape architecture and architects.

Friends group

“The way it’s used now the land is not really used,” said Jonathan Rubin, a FOBG co-founder. “We want more public space. More space for sitting and more space for programming.”

The green space in question

Space that could be improved

The group, which was officially created six months ago, has so far hosted one of two task force meetings designed to collect public input. A master plan might mean some sort of square at 3rd and Bainbridge, according to Rubin. The Friends group imagine the Green will be a space where neighbors and visitors alike come to relax, socialize and be entertained. Some initial design ideas include expanding the sidewalk to make for easier passage, planting herb and flower gardens, installing a water feature and creating seating, bike storage, and other amenities at each intersection. Plans for the park are a collaboration between FOBG, the South Street Headhouse District (which recently received a similar CDC grant for a 4th Street streetscape study, and the Queen Village Neighbors Association. The vision is for a gateway to Fabric Row.

CAD vision of the Green

Rubin is excited to see the community collaboration that “all meets at 4th and Bainbridge.” The commercial character of Fabric Row is evolving. Last summer locals formed the 4th Street Committee to work on revitalizing the corridor. A number of new retailers have joined 4th Street in recent years including Red Hook Coffee & Tea, the organic hair salon JuJu and Bicycle Revolutions. And in early May SSHD hosted its first streetwide South Street Spring Festival. It’s good to see that in the wake of the fire the community has joined together to support those affected while it continues to improve quality of life. And it’s also great to see that various elements of the community were coming together even before that.

–Lou Mancinelli