Heritage Plaza – a new outdoor civic space in Hayward

This capacity diagram shows the size of Heritage Plaza. It is equal to the size of San Francisco’s Union Square. Heritage Plaza’s two main plaza areas – one in the center oval, and one along the C Street hardscape – have a total capacity for up to 4,000 event attendees.

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To get a sense of the scale, check out the the little red rectangles inside the center oval. Those represent 20′ long food trucks. The little red squares at the top of the oval represent 10′ by 10′ farmer’s market tents.

Heritage Plaza dates back to Hayward’s founding days in the mid-1800’s. The site was part of the homestead of Hayward’s first landowner and rancher, Don Guillermo Castro. When Castro subdivided and sold his land holdings in 1864, he dedicated one full city block to the people of Hayward for use as a public plaza in perpetuity.

Today, this plaza is filled with century-old heritage trees, and will be restored to its historic roots as an open space and community gathering place. After the new 21st Century Library is built and the deteriorating old main library is torn down, Heritage Plaza will be fully restored to its former glory as Hayward’s premier central plaza for community festivals, farmer’s markets, music and cultural performances, civic observances and other community events for generations to come.

A tree grows in Hayward

I’m so relieved to see my “groundbreaking” oak tree produce beautiful new leaves again. It went dormant right after I transplanted it into this pot. I was worried that it wouldn’t bounce back. I got this tree as a dignitary gift at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hayward library. Needless to say, this is a very symbolic and important tree to me.

tree

Ground Breaking Celebration

On October 3, 2015…

Several hundred community members and dignitaries gathered in Municipal Parking Lot #10 on the corner of C Street and Mission Boulevard to celebrate the ground breaking for Hayward’s 21st Century Library and Heritage Plaza project.

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Dignitaries participate in the “golden shovel” ceremony, October 3, 2015. (L to R): Principal Architect Chris Noll; Council Member Francisco Zermeño; Council Member Sara Lamnin; Council Member Elisa Márquez; Council Member Greg Jones; Council Member Marvin Peixoto; Mayor Barbara Halliday; Mayor Emeritus Michael Sweeney; Friends of Hayward Library President Judy Harrison; Hayward Library Commission Chairperson Kari McAllister; Council Member Al Mendall; Director of Libraries and Community Services Sean Reinhart; City Manager Fran David; Director of Public Works – Engineering and Transportation Morad Fakhrai; General Contractor Tim Penick.

The festivities included music courtesy of Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward; the historic 1923 Seagrave Fire Engine courtesy of Hayward Firefighters Local 1909; a seed-planting activity organized by the Hayward Seed Lending Library; a bounce house courtesy of Hayward Area Recreation and Park District; refreshments generously donated by Eko Coffee and Tea House; and special surprise appearances by two “monumental figures from Hayward’s past” – the iconic Big Mike and Doggie Diner statues.

After the formal speeches, dignitaries including the Mayor and Council officially broke ground on the project with a “golden shovel” ceremony in which the soil was used to help plant a tree in the Heritage Plaza. Community members also participated in the ceremony by using the soil to plant seedlings from the Hayward Seed Lending Library to grow in their homes and gardens.

The event was organized by staff from Library and Community Services, Maintenance Services, and Environmental Services; and was sponsored by the Friends of Hayward Library with major support from Eko Coffee and Tea House.

Preparations for the new library construction have begun including preliminary utility work along C Street. Construction on the site itself is expected to begin in early November. Construction will last approximately 24 months. Complete construction updates including a construction site webcam will be available on the project website, www.haywardlibrary.org

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“Big Mike,” Hayward’s unofficial mascot, makes a surprise return visit to downtown Hayward to help oversee the ground breaking festivities on October 3, 2015.
The former Doggie Diner location on C Street at Mission Boulevard as it appeared circa 1975. The historic 1923 Seagrave fire engine is visible in the photo at left. Both the 1923 Seagrave engine and an original Doggie Diner statue were present for the ground breaking celebration at this location forty years later on October 3, 2015. Image courtesy of Hayward Area Historical Society.
The former Doggie Diner location on C Street at Mission Boulevard as it appeared circa 1975. The historic 1923 Seagrave fire engine is visible in the photo at left. Both the 1923 Seagrave engine and an original Doggie Diner statue were present for the ground breaking celebration at this location forty years later on October 3, 2015. Image courtesy of Hayward Area Historical Society.
Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, a nonprofit youth musical troupe led by City of Hayward employee Juan Varelas, perform at the ground breaking celebration on October 3, 2015.
Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, a nonprofit youth musical troupe led by City of Hayward employee Juan Varelas, perform at the ground breaking celebration on October 3, 2015.
Community members plant seedlings with the ceremonial groundbreaking soil, October 3, 2015
Community members plant seedlings with the ceremonial groundbreaking soil, October 3, 2015

Good news for public libraries

With polling numbers like this, maybe public libraries should run for office! 🙂

Good news for public libraries

“This graphic highlights results from the Pew Internet & American Life Project survey, released December 2013. More than 6,000 Americans ages 16 and older were asked about their views of public libraries and the role these institutions serve in their communities. The results show that an overwhelming majority of Americans value libraries.”

View the full report (PDF):

[Graphic: American Libraries Magazine]