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The Art of Walking

The Art of Walking

By Gabby Deutsch ’18

Franklin Street Mall at Alviso

More space to create

With the new pedestrian walkway, students and commmunity members have a point of connection between the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building and the rest of campus. 

Just shy of a year since the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building opened in 2016, students and visitors returning to campus this fall will see another transformation right out front: Franklin Street, once the realm of cars and trucks and motorized things that go, has become an elegant pedestrian mall between Alviso Street and The Alameda. Just a few years ago, the roads in front of the Mission Church and Donohoe Alumni House became a stately brick walkway, as did Palm Drive through the heart of campus. Now the Franklin Street walkway expands that on the north side, making a more foot- and bike- and skateboard-friendly connection. One key goal: “It creates a stronger arts district, with art and art history diagonally across from the performing arts complex,” notes Don Akerland, director of Planning and Projects. Recommended for visitors: a stroll to the new sculpture garden and through the first-floor gallery.

FRANKLIN STREET STROLL

Not only does the Franklin Street pedestrian mall foster community and collaboration for the SCU campus, it creates a welcoming space to co-host activities with the city of Santa Clara. It accompanies the city’s Downtown Revitalization Project—that, in part, aims to create a partnership with the University and a robust area adjacent to campus. A bonus: Archaeological work before construction uncovered tracks along which trolleys once ferried riders past College Hall, home to the campus theatre known as “The Ship.” For now, the pedestrian mall is limited to one block of Franklin Street. But plans would make the road pedestrian-only all the way to Lafayette Street. Call it the Franklin Street Promenade.

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