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Cleveland Design Competition - Transforming the Bridge
Register: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Submit: Saturday, October 06, 2012


Welcome to the 2012 Cleveland Design Competition: Transforming The Bridge.

The Cleveland Design Competition invites professionals, students, firms and designers to re-imagine the abandoned lower streetcar level of Cleveland’s Detroit-Superior Bridge as a dynamic public space, performance venue and pedestrian experience. At the beginning of 2012, a group of local designers and business leaders launched an initiative called “The Bridge Project” to raise public awareness about the potential of The Bridge and to engage the community for input on opening the lower level for public use. The Cleveland Design Competition has partnered with The Bridge Project to engage designers to propose compelling visions for the permanent use of The Bridge, public access into and passage through the lower level of The Bridge, and connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods.

The Detroit-Superior Bridge, also known as Veterans Memorial Bridge, is one of the most prominent features of Cleveland’s urban landscape. At almost one-mile long, The Bridge spans the Cuyahoga River connecting Downtown Cleveland, the industrial Flats neighborhood and Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods. The Bridge, completed in 1918, is a concrete arch and steel bridge consisting of two levels; an upper level that is largely dominated by vehicular traffic and a lower level that was originally designed for streetcars. While the upper level of The Bridge is one of the most heavily used thoroughfares in Cleveland, the lower level has remained closed, vacant and largely unused since 1954 when streetcar service was discontinued. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the upper level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge, including an expanded sidewalk for pedestrians and a bike lane, were completed in 2005.

The lower level of The Bridge is a vast, cathedral-like space that includes subterranean subway stations at either end. An open-air span over the river provides unmatched views of the downtown skyline, the city’s industrial valley, and Lake Erie. The two ends of The Bridge include vestiges of the former streetcar stations including stairwells and tunnels, colonnades and waiting spaces, and segments of track. The ‘subway’ as the ends of the lower deck were called, had streetcar entry ramps at West Sixth Street and Superior Avenue on the east, and on both Detroit Avenue and West 25th Street on the west. The streetcar entry points have since been removed. Pedestrian and vehicular entry to The Bridge currently occurs at grade on either end of The Bridge at a gated opening, and by stair via two original entry points; an office building on the southwest corner of West 25th and Detroit and through a building that serves as the current home of the Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office.

The Bridge offers tremendous potential for use as a dynamic public space, performance venue, and sheltered bicycle/pedestrian connection over the Cuyahoga River. Designs will provoke public conversation about creative place making in Cleveland and provide innovative ideas for a world-class public space. Winning designs will be selected among entries as best illustrating the possibilities for the future use of The Bridge.

+ Competition Announcement: July 9th, 2012
+ Jury Announcement: July 31st, 2012
+ Registration Deadline: September 10th, 2012
+ Late Registration Deadline: September 24th, 2012
+ Submission Deadline: October 5th, 2012
+ Awards Reception and Exhibition: October 26th, 2012

First Place
$5,000.00 USD + travel stipend to attend Awards Reception (maximum $750.00)

Second Place
$2,000.00 USD + travel stipend to attend Awards Reception (maximum $500.00)

Third Place
$1,000.00 USD + travel stipend to attend Awards Reception (maximum $250.00)

*At the sole discretion of the jury, each award level can be re-assigned to another award level or split. The total money awarded will not be less than $8000,00.00 USD. Travel stipend only applies to winners located greater than 100 miles from Cleveland, Ohio.

To be announced.


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