After three months of construction the City of Newcastle’s transformation of James Street Plaza on Hamilton’s Beaumont Street is nearly complete.
The last pavers are being laid and the final placement of street furniture, artwork and landscaping is planned for the coming weeks.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said it is wonderful to see the renewed plaza taking shape for the community to soon enjoy.
“Hamilton locals told us they wanted a safer, more appealing place to spend time, and this really delivers on that vision,” Cr Nelmes said.
“This is a place where we hope to see the community gather and activate the space with music, markets and food.”
Janice Musumeci from Hamilton Business Association Inc said local businesses are looking forward to the plaza being open to the public and a hub for community activity.
“We’re already exploring ideas for how we can activate James Street Plaza for the whole community like live music spots and regular markets. It will be an inclusive and versatile space.
“Hamilton is already seeing great business growth so this will be a great drawcard to bring people back to supporting local businesses.”
Councillor Carol Duncan said the upgrade has been a collaboration with community and business in the area.
“Through our ongoing conversations with business owners we heard lots of ideas for improving this space and how it could be better utilised for the community,” Cr Duncan said.
“It is especially exciting to see the lighting display coming together, with installation underway this week.”
In June the community was asked to vote on their favourite of three lighting designs put forward by the University of Newcastle’s Future Art Science & Technology Lab (FASTLab), each celebrating a different aspect of Hamilton’s history and character.
The “Microcosmic Mosaic” concept proved to be the favourite and was developed into a full-length animation which will soon light up the space.
In addition to the lighting display, the rich history of Hamilton is reflected in artworks in the renewed plaza, informed by the research of local historian Ruth Cotton, author of Hidden Hamilton and through collaboration with the Newcastle Museum.
Final works will take place in the coming weeks before the community is welcomed into the upgraded space next month.