Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announces final steps of Heritage Park project, removal of Columbus Statue

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the final steps the City of Syracuse intends to take toward the creation of the future “Heritage Park” in Downtown Syracuse.

Heritage Park is the working name for the community project to reimagine the existing Columbus Circle, also known as St. Mary’s Circle, and the area across Onondaga Street, known as the Powelson Site.

Mayor Walsh said he would follow the steps in state and local law prior to any changes to the Circle. The process the City will follow includes six steps:

  1. Conclusion of Heritage Park Advisory Commission Process
  2. City Parks preparation of the Heritage Park Plan
  3. Syracuse Public Arts Commission (“SPAC”) Review
  4. City Planning Commission (“CPC”) Review
  5. Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board (“LPB”) SEQR Review and Vote
  6. Final Administration Determination and Design

The Mayor’s office says the process he has announced provides maximum community input and allows for the completion of all administrative requirements before any final determination is reached.

The project developed after Mayor Walsh announced his intent last October to relocated and preserve the Columbus Statue and related elements.

He also wanted the creation of a larger heritage and education site that celebrates the contributions of the diverse Syracuse community and maintains a permanent tribute to Italian Americans at the center of the circle.

“Stakeholders representing a wide range of perspectives have engaged in this issue for the past three-and-a-half years. I deeply appreciate their caring participation. As another Columbus Day approaches, I want the community to fully understand the steps that will be taken to create the Heritage Park and address the longstanding challenge at the Circle,” said Mayor Walsh. “There will be no changes without taking the appropriate procedural steps.”

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