Downtown Schenectady has been revitalized with the opening of Jay Square, a new public greenspace that sits right in front of Schenectady City Hall at 105 Jay Street. As a part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, this greenspace will serve the community year-round as a gathering or event-hosting area and has brought beauty back into the area.
In the wake of a devastating fire in March 2015, the destruction of two apartment buildings that once stood there, claimed the lives of four individuals: Jermaine Allen, Harry Simpson, Berenices Suarez, and Robert Thomas, leaving behind a void in the hearts of their loved ones. To honor their memory, four benches now stand sentinel in the park, a poignant reminder of lives that were tragically cut short. Though gone, they will forever be a part of this cherished place, their spirits interwoven with the very fabric of the park’s essence.
On a sign that was placed in front of the property before the opening read, “This project is made possible with support from the ElectriCity Arts and Entertainment District, Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp., Social Enterprise and Training (SEAT) Center, and assistance from: Albany Barn, and Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority.”
To be the first musician to perform in the space, Doc Horton and the Jay Street Band filled Jay Square with his electric vibes and brought attendees to dance with him.
The Capital Region Chamber commends Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority, The City of Schenectady, The Schenectady Foundation, The Carlilian Foundation, The Neil and Jane Golub Foundations, AARP Community Challenge, TW&A/Construction Management, and LAnd Art, for their dedication put into this project. They also gave a special shout out to SEAT Center and mural artist Charlotte Mack of Create Community Studios. Read their full statement here.
The Schenectady Foundation contributed $75,000 to this project as a part of the revitalization grant. Read their statement in their Fall 2023 newsletter here.
To watch the full ribbon cutting at the ceremony, watch our Facebook Watch here:
Read the full article on The Daily Gazette here:
Look through the photo gallery below to see the new space on opening day: