14Plaza naming

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By Jeff Kiger

Dirty snow and idle construction equipment cover a torn-up plaza along First Avenue in downtown Rochester.

Once the frost melts from the ground, work will resume there, with a goal of opening an expanded and revamped $2.9 million pedestrian plaza on June 1.

Peace Plaza has long been the name of the public area in front of The Shops at University Square, formerly known as the Galleria. The new renovation will extend west of First Avenue, creating a new meeting place.


As the center of what is hoped will be a revitalized downtown, the plan is to use the plaza for public and private events.

But what will it be called?

That might be decided Monday.

The Rochester Downtown Alliance group asked the public for suggestions. About 170 rolled in.

"Some were very creative," said Heidi Mestad, the RDA’s director of communication and community engagement during a board meeting Thursday.

On Monday, the RDA is bringing four choices to the city council for consideration.

The four names on the table are:

• Peace Plaza


• International Peace Plaza

• First Street Plaza

• Renaissance Plaza

Mayor Ardell Brede and former mayor Chuck Hazama both have backed staying with the Peace Plaza name.

While the council mulls over what is the best name, the new events coordinator for the to-be-named plaza will be wrapping up her first day on the job.

Sarah Kelling-McCormick was recently hired to manage private events, like wedding receptions, at the plaza and to help with RDA events such as the weekly Thursday on First fairs.

By Tuesday, she might even have a name to call it.

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