Next Steps for Burlington’s Moran FRAME
Last week, Burlington VT Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the completion of a six-month public engagement and design process for the Moran FRAME that resulted in a striking new concept for the future of the now revived northern waterfront. This follows Phase 1 of the Moran FRAME construction completed in 2022, reimagining the site of a long-abandoned former coal plant into an ever-evolving, four-season public space.
On Thursday, February 8th, the Mayor, CEDO, and design team will present a physical model and other design materials of the new Phase 2 concept to the public at a special event at Burlington City Arts. The Phase 2 design includes space for concerts and performances, expansive views, year-round activity including a skating ribbon, markets, waterfront seating, and public art.
Led by MVVA, Utile collaborated on the design along with SE GROUP; Engineering Ventures; Freeman French Freeman; Domingo Gonzalez Associates; and Altieri Sebor Wieber, LLC. One of the design team’s earliest tasks was creating a detailed Public Engagement Plan in coordination with the City Project Team, outlining the format and objectives of public meetings and workshops with local stakeholders. The outreach effort began with an online and mail-in survey intended to gather the community’s greatest aspirations for the site, garnering more than 550 responses. Above all else, Burlington residents were interested in concerts and performances, expansive views, year-round activity, markets, waterfront seating, and public art—provisions for all of which were included in the final design.
As Matt Urbanski, MVVA Partner, gracefully puts it; “Our most rewarding projects uplift places that already have a passionate community behind them. The Moran FRAME is just that—a beloved public space with a seemingly spontaneous user base whose engagement with the FRAME grew organically out of the intrinsic qualities of the site. Phase 2 is an ambitious plan that is grounded in constituents’ aspirations, creates new opportunities on the Burlington waterfront, and celebrates the history and ecology of the region.”
The Mayor will seek approval for a new contract with Friends of The FRAME to continue public programming and activation of the Moran FRAME site in 2024 and 2025 with movie nights, live performances, public art, placemaking and continued partnership with Wasted* to provide on-site restrooms; and to design a capital fundraising campaign for implementing the Phase 2 vision.
Utile is thrilled to be part of this transformation of a unique industrial relic into one of the most spectacular and iconic public spaces in the country!