City of Shelbyville
  • Civic & Cultural

5.14 acres


Honor Award, Indiana ASLA

Revitalizing Public Space

Shelbyville’s downtown square has undergone a remarkable transformation, reclaiming its vibrant atmosphere from car-dominated streets. Developed with the community, this pedestrian-centered urban park brings back the lively heart of the town, offering live music, farmer’s markets, revitalized businesses, historical celebrations, and more, making it the reclaimed crown jewel at the community’s center.

The Challenge

Established in 1823, the once-vibrant public square in Shelbyville lost its charm after the courthouse fire, deteriorating into a parking lot with only remnants of its former glory. Collaborating with the City of Shelbyville, our mission was to revive this historic square into a vibrant civic hub, seamlessly blending pedestrian-friendly spaces with essential vehicular access to support local commerce, thus reinstating its role as the beating heart of the community.

Shebyville Public Square, 2018
Shebyville Public Square, 2022

The Impact

Drawing from the rich history of Shelbyville’s Downtown Square, our approach centered on returning the square to its original role as a vibrant community hub. By emphasizing pedestrian accessibility, enhancing universal accessibility, and calming vehicular traffic, we’ve created a versatile and inclusive space that accommodates contemporary needs while honoring its historic significance.

Through strategic placement of statues celebrating local luminaries and the integration of flexible event spaces, we’ve woven the stories of Shelbyville’s past into the fabric of the square, fostering a sense of pride and connection among residents. This revitalization effort has not only restored the physical heart of the community but has also reinvigorated local businesses, attracting renewed interest and patronage.

Restoring the Past

The fountain, a celebrated icon of the city and symbol on the city’s flag is again taking center stage. The original bowl and stem of the fountain along with bronze elements of the fountain head have been restored.

A Space to Gather

The planter spaces are crafted as intimate rooms, offering comfortable seating under tree canopies that create a cozy ambiance, especially enhanced by the soft illumination of overhead lights.