Coal Avenue Commons

Coal Avenue Commons

Building community. Fostering creativity.
Creating opportunity. 

In 2018, gallupARTS, in partnership with the City of Gallup, received a $150,000 “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Matched by $150,000 from local government, institutions and organizations, this $300,000 total grant funded a creative placemaking project in downtown Gallup. It supported a community-based, collaborative design process to re-imagine Coal Avenue as a signature “event street” and creative commercial hub.

STEP 1: The community came together to brainstorm a new vision for Coal Avenue by submitting words to a “Wordle” which was transformed into a street art mural by artist Bear Mescale, by “chalking the walk” and filling Coal Avenue with design ideas, by creating temporary “parklets” showcasing different potential uses for the future Commons, and by prototyping design ideas in a hands-on workshop.

STEP 2: The community’s ideas were incorporated alongside those of property owners, business owners, artists and downtown residents who met in focus groups. Collective feedback was synthesized into three different design concepts, which the community voted on. The result? Almost unanimous support for the “plaza”-style street design.

STEP 3: On September 25, 2018, the Gallup City Council voted to move forward with the community’s preferred design for the future Coal Avenue Commons: a plaza-style street, featuring curbless sidewalks, patterned pavers, a gateway feature, combined planters and benches for added landscaping and interconnectivity with the downtown “walkway.” 

Construction of Phase 1 of the project, which will include Coal Avenue from 2nd to 3rd Streets and the downtown Walkway is nearly complete!

For more information, check out the project website:

Community engagement snapshots:
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