Traffic Free Zone on Allen Street, Downtown State College, PA
May 11 thru July 3rd, 2020
Summers On Allen is a collaboration between the Centre Foundation, Groznik PR, and the Downtown State College Improvement District. Slated to operate on the 100 block of South Allen Street from May 11 through July 3, some fun activities include concerts, movies, and outdoor dining. The idea for Summers on Allen started in 2018 when the Centre Foundation received a $135,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to increase downtown engagement during the summer months. The idea of a pedestrian plaza had come up before, and Molly Kunkel, the foundation’s executive director, thought the time might be right to try it again. The foundation teamed up with Grozik PR, the company responsible for Pop Up Ave and Light Up State College two large, successful, community events in downtown State College.
The Downtown Master Plan, created by the Downtown State College Improvement District and adopted by the Borough Council in 2013 has a vision for downtown as “a place where local citizens, regional residents, national and international visitors, faculty, staff and students will find appealing, exciting and diverse offerings.”
Of the pedestrian malls in the United States, several are in college towns like State College.
Summers On Allen passed Borough Council on January 13th after which Groznik and Kunkel formed an advisory board to gain feedback on the project from business owners and community members. They also hosted two community brainstorming sessions to learn about how the community would like to use the public space. Check out the article in the Town and Gown magazine to learn more about this exciting pilot project. With your support, more folks will come to downtown State College and this urban experiment will be a success to be repeated every year with the potential to become a permanent place for visitors to experience.