Downtown gateways plan moves into fundraising stage (copy)

An artist’s rendering of the Gateway Plaza planned for the southeast corner of Broadway and Providence Road illustrates the “O” orb that designers hope to cover with single-word descriptions of the city submitted by residents.

Have a word that you think sums up Columbia? The city wants to hear from you.

The Downtown Community Improvement District and the CoMo 200 task force are working on a sculpture that spells out “Columbia.” The sculpture will be built at the southeast corner of Broadway and Providence Road as part of the District’s Gateway Plaza and the city’s expansion of Flat Branch Park.

The “O” in the sculpture will be 10 feet in diameter, and the plan is to cover the orb with single words submitted by residents that describe life in Columbia.

It’s a far cry from how the city described itself in a tagline years ago, when Woodruff Communications as part of a branding campaign described Columbia as “the smart, innovative, artsy, eclectic, clever, savvy, vibrant, too-dynamic-to-fit-into-a-short-tagline city.” How many of those single words will eventually find their way onto the orb remains to be seen.

Words can be submitted online on CoMo 200’s website until Dec. 6 or emailed to Words also can be submitted in person at the Daniel Boone Building, 701 E. Broadway; the Walton Building at 300 S. Providence Road; and at the District’s offices at 11 S. Tenth St.

Volunteers also will collect words at downtown events, including the the Living Windows Festival and Holiday Shop Hop and Magic Tree Lighting on Nov. 2 and the Living Windows Festival on Dec. 6.

The expansion of Flat Branch Park is part of Columbia’s bicentennial celebration that will occur in 2021. The Gateway Plaza, which has been in the planning stages for years, will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million.

  • Public Life reporter, fall 2019 Studying magazine writing and economics Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

Recommended for you

Join the conversation

When posting comments, please follow our community guidelines:
• Login with a social account on WorldTable.
• Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language or engage in personal attacks.
• Stay on topic. Don’t hijack a forum to talk about something else or to post spam.
• Abuse of the community could result in being banned.
• Comments on our website and social media may be published in our newspaper or on our website.