City limits field to 4 in redesign of Pratt St.

December 15, 2006|By Jill Rosen | Jill Rosen,Sun reporter

City officials have narrowed the field to four teams in the contest to redesign Baltimore's Pratt Street.

Teams that made the cut from an original field of 10 applicants, officials announced yesterday, are Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore; EDSA of Columbia; Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of Washington; and Hargreaves Associates of Cambridge, Mass.

Each of the four finalists has won $25,000.

Baltimore Development Corp., Downtown Partnership and the city's planning and transportation departments announced this fall that they were sponsoring a design contest to reinvigorate a 16-block stretch of Pratt from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard east to President Street.

They hoped to find a team of professionals - experts in urban design, landscape architecture, traffic flow and retail - to collaborate on a plan to refresh the public spaces along the corridor.

The sponsors are splitting the cost of the prize money.

The four finalists will have until Feb. 12 to come up with a design plan, and city officials are expected to choose a winner soon after.

Hank Alinger, associate principal of EDSA said yesterday that he and his team are looking forward to rethinking the way Pratt Street works and that he believes the city is expecting a lot of creativity.

"I think they're looking for us to stretch our imaginations and get some big ideas out there," he said, adding that a big part of his team's plan will be finding a way to improve the pedestrian experience on the street.

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