The event will begin at the historical Ambrose Winters memorial fountain in Cooper Park, located along Patterson Boulevard between Second and Third streets, and proceed to the area near Fluid Dynamics, located in the intersection of Fifth Street with St. Clair Street and Patterson Boulevard.
Fluid Dynamics artist Jon Barlow Hudson will be on hand, and the Stivers School for the Arts Jazz Quintet will perform. Members of the George A. Pflaum family, which donated the sculpture, also will join the celebration.
“The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, a strategic blueprint for the future of our center city, calls for creating a more attractive and pedestrian-friendly downtown,” said Dr. Michael Ervin, co-chair of the Downtown Dayton Partnership and Greater Downtown Dayton Plan. “The Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway and Fluid Dynamics are perfect examples of how we can achieve that.
“The Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway connects such downtown Dayton hotspots as Fifth Third Field and RiverScape MetroPark with a residential neighborhood and the Oregon District, while Fluid Dynamics adds an artistic flair to the downtown streetscape,” Ervin added. “Such efforts are critical to strengthening our downtown, because today, businesses and organizations want to locate where people want to be — and more and more of them want to be in a convenient, active, thriving and authentic downtown.”
The Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway project traces the route of the Miami-Erie Canal, an essential piece of Dayton’s commercial and cultural history. The canal route has been a fixture of Dayton’s cityscape for nearly 200 years: first as a boomtown trade artery (19thcentury), then as a bothersome urban ditch (early 20th century), and later as a busy boulevard passing through a manufacturing and warehouse district (mid 20th century). Largely stripped of its trees and park-like features in the 1950s and ′60s to accommodate automobile traffic and parking, the boulevard gradually began to reclaim its greenery and establish walkability in the 1980s. It partially emerged as a pedestrian-friendly promenade as an extension of the then-new RiverScape MetroPark at the beginning of the 21st century.
With the completion of the Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway in early 2013, downtown Dayton residents, workers and visitors now can walk or bike the path of history while enjoying a diversified urban environment with a variety of commercial buildings, housing, recreational attractions, educational and civic institutions, and a growing entertainment district.
“The parkway is a reflection of so much of Dayton’s history,” said John Gower, retired Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Dayton, who envisioned the Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway project during his tenure with the City. “Most importantly, it connects some of Dayton’s greatest assets today and is a showplace for the exciting 21st century community that is emerging.”
The Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission funded the $2 million Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway project, which includes new landscaping and streetscaping, as well as pylons that include wayfinding and historical information. Fluid Dynamics was funded by a private donation.
“Our family wanted to donate a piece of public art in honor of the three George A. Pflaums who ran our family’s downtown Dayton-based publishing company during three successive generations from 1885 to 1970,” said William Pflaum. “Our hope is this also will spur newfound interest in public art downtown.”