Accessible City Hall

The proposed new accessibility project for the historic City Hall at Military Plaza is an opportunity to create a vibrant new civic space. The existing ceremonial plaza on the east side of the building is inadequate for a growing city of over 1.5 million people. In addition, the existing environment has a poor connection to Main Plaza and the city center.   The solution calls for a new curved 1:12 ramp that leads to an enlarged elevated entry to replace the cramped existing approach. The proposed ramp is 6’ wide so that two wheelchairs can pass each other. The curve of the ramp integrates a new plaza within and generates a narrative for the space. The new plaza features moveable tables and chairs as well as fixed benches for impromptu gatherings. Stone pavers and talavera accents are used for the new stairs and benches scattered around the plaza.   By transitioning the emphasis of the area from vehicles to pedestrians, a large gathering area is created to promote collective democratic activities. By redirecting vehicular traffic entering and exiting the city hall parking from Military Plaza (Flores Street) and removing the parallel parking along the east side, the street width is returned back to the current width of the streets north and south of the block. Military Plaza is elevated 6” to be level with the sidewalks and bollards are used to keep vehicles within their lanes making the plaza beneficial during special events when the street is closed to create an even larger seamless gathering area. All existing trees are preserved and new street trees are placed along Military Plaza.   The Renaissance Revival style City Hall is completely untouched with the exception of the existing east entry stair landing which is replaced.