The plan for Abbott Square began with our community in 2013.

We engaged hundreds of people in workshops to re-envision the future of Abbott Square. We worked with urban planners and designers to transform the community vision into an inspiring, functional design.

In 2014, we held an international competition to design the major public sculpture that soars overhead in Abbott Square: BEACON, created by Gyroscope, Inc. and built by Gizmo Productions. We developed a plan for a food experience featuring many diverse chefs from across the region and recruited an amazing partner for the Abbott Square Market, John McEnery IV, who led the development of the successful San Pedro Square Market in San Jose. We also attracted significant lead grants and donations from national foundations and local individuals who believe in the power of the project to build community. In 2015, we moved to design. We worked with Joni Janecki & Associates--visionary landscape architects--to design an magical Secret Garden behind the main plaza. Together with our partners, architects, and designers, we developed a powerful plan that reflects our community goals.

We are now moving into construction. Demolition starts in April 2016. We plan to open the entire project to the public in 2017.

Our dream is for everyone who cares about the future of Downtown to have a part in this project--that includes you. If you believe in this future, please make a donation and get involved today. You can make this dream real.


  • Abbott Square must serve multiple constituencies, including Downtown workers looking for a nice place to eat lunch, families looking for safe and inspiring play spaces, and artists who want to present performances and events.
  • Abbott Square must be visually exciting and inviting. It will include dramatic public artwork, increased seating and landscaping, and a magical “secret garden” for respite and play.
  • Abbott Square must bring the Museum to the street in strong partnership with the City. This includes frequent performances, hands-on activities, community festivals, and public art elements that “connect the dots” from Pacific Avenue to the plaza.
  • Abbott Square should be self-sustaining once built. The Market proceeds will help fund the ongoing maintenance of the plaza, including supporting performances, art installations, seating, cleaning, and security.



  1. Artistic pathways embedded in the sidewalks for three blocks surrounding Abbott Square will attract people to the plaza
  2. Dramatic sculpture and ongoing performances put art at the heart of the project
  3. Community events will make Abbott Square a hub of connection
  4. A dynamic Market featuring local food will provide delicious reasons to visit again and again
  5. An intimate, interactive secret garden in the back patio will invite families to play and enjoy inspiring activities and events