Village of Ossining, New York

Village of Ossining Market Square: Case Description

Market Square is a .16-acre rectangular lot located along downtown Main Street in the Village of Ossining. Part of a larger .43-acre vacant lot used for municipal parking; the entire site had been part of a 1975 plan for Urban Renewal. In 1997, the Village was granted CDBG funding to develop the site, and the project became part of the “Vision Plan”, a larger downtown revitalization planning effort initiated, facilitated and guided by Ray Curran, the Village Planner. A ‘Market Square’ volunteer committee was formed and began a series of meetings together with the Village Planner and the County Planning Department to develop a plan. An evening workshop was held with residents and others to determine desired types of events and special uses for the proposed square.
Design implications of these events were identified with the help of PPS, and the Committee, the  Village Planner and the County Planning Department developed a site plan. The Market Square was constructed and completed in June 1998. A management council with broad community representation was set up as a permanent entity to manage as well as seek sponsors for new events. Early signs show a positive shift in people’s attitudes toward the downtown.

The Original Site

The New Market Square

Village of Ossining Market Square: Step By Step Master Planning Process

  1. Market Square is a .16 acre (7,200 sq.ft) rectangular site lot located along Main Street in the downtown of the Village of Ossining. Part of a larger .43 acre vacant paved lot used as a municipal lot for 40 vehicles, the entire site contained a commercial building that was raised in 1975 as part of an Urban Renewal plan.
  2. In 1991, a farmers market began to use a portion of the site on Saturday mornings during the summer. The market was a very popular attraction in an otherwise underused downtown.
  3. In 1996, as part of the celebration of the Town of Ossining’s 150 anniversary, the local Arts’ Council involved several community groups in producing seven 3′ x 5′ foot mosaic panels that they intended would be erected on an empty brick wall adjoining the site.
  4. That same year, Ray Curran, the Village Planner, in consultation with community groups, submitted an application for County CDBG funding.
  5. In 1997, the Village was granted funding to develop the site and the project became part of the “Vision Plan”, a larger downtown revitalization planning effort. The Market Square became one of four areas of focus in the planning process.
  6. A “Market Square” committee was formed and began a series of meetings with the Village Planner and the County Planning Dept.
  7. An evening workshop was held with residents, the Village Planner, Project for Public Spaces, and others to determine desired types of events and special uses for the proposed square.
  8. Design implications of these events were identified with the help of PPS. The Committee, the Village Planner and the County Planning Department then developed a site plan.
  9. The Market Square was constructed and completed in June 1998. A management council made up of volunteers with broad community representation was set up to manage as well as seek sponsors for new events.
  10. The completed square has rapidly become recognized as the heart of the Village and its most significant space. More that a dozen events have occurred during the first summer and early signs show a positive shift in people’s attitudes toward the
    downtown. The farmers market continues to use the site today and has become the largest attraction. Corporate sponsorship has funded an information kiosk which will soon be added to the square while the management council has requested an operational budget to be managed through the Parks and Recreation Dept.

For more information, please contact: Ray Curran, Urban Works, 212-431-7294

Photographs by Ray Curran.

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