Heavy traffic along Broadway St is a constant. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Heavy traffic along Broadway St is a constant. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

More than 70 individuals and teams have registered to enter the Build Your Own Broadway citywide ideas competition with only two days left before the submission deadline. A jury of 12 distinguished San Antonio cultural leaders, artists, and other creatives led by Jury Chair Darryl Byrd will meet Friday to review submissions and select finalists in three categories. Those six finalists will be invited to take the stage at Pearl Stable Wednesday evening, March 30 to compete for $20,000 in prize money.

Click here to learn more about competing in the BYOBroadway ideas competition. Online submission deadline is 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 23.

The Place Changing event, organized by the Rivard Report and Overland Partners and sponsored by the Pearl, will be held Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 p.m., March 30, at the Pearl Stable with Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery serving its craft brews. Admission is $15 and includes drink tickets. There are still tickets available. Click here to purchase. Proceeds will underwrite this and future Place Changing events and multimedia publishing efforts.

“I’m excited, and all the jurors are hyped up about it and ready for the judging this Friday,” Byrd said. “This competition at its foundation is all about inviting citizens to get engaged, to solicit their creative answers to the question: What can Broadway look like? The ideas can be a bit fantastic, that’s okay. BYOBroadway is an exercise in civic engagement. It’s meant to compliment the more practical design work that will come down the road. The fuel powering this city forward to become a great city is going to be the citizens themselves. It’s going to take all of us to get to greatness.”

A crosswalk on the corner of Broadway St and Eleanor Ave breaks up the heavy traffic along Broadway St. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
A crosswalk on the corner of Broadway St and Eleanor Ave. breaks up the heavy traffic along Broadway St. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

The ideas competition is being sponsored by Centro San Antonio, which is leading a local stakeholder group that is financing the study of Broadway and the cost entailed in transforming it into a great street, a project that would require funding in the 2017 city bond. Centro CEO Pat DiGiovanni is expected to offer a brief update on the project when he introduces one of the evening’s two keynote speakers, Mukul Malhotra, the director of urban design and a principal at MIG, the Berkeley, CA-based design and planning firm that specializes in holistic urban transformation. Malhotra also is a key leader at the nonprofit restreet.org project, which builds on the Complete Street movement.

Malhotra will be joined on stage by a second speaker, Peter Kageyama, author of For the Love of Cities, a book that explores the emotional relationship between people and urban environments that describes the places in cities that are most attractive to locals and visitors alike.

“The ideas competition is a great way to build on the strong work done in the past planning efforts in years gone by to redesign Broadway,” DiGiovanni said. “We are delighted to see this kind of enthusiasm and willingness to participate in the competition. It’s going to be a fun night.”

All of the submissions will be on display in the Pearl Stable foyer and all ticket holders to the event will be given a ticket to cast their vote for the People’s Choice winner, which comes with a $2,000 prize. The winners in the three categories will be called back on stage toward the end of the program and be presented with $5,000. The three runner-ups will each receive $1,000 checks. Although many of the submissions are expected to come from individual architects and other design professionals, registrations include students from Trinity University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and San Antonio College.

Among those submitting entries are more than 12 San Antonio College architecture students, each of whom has constructed a model of his or her idea. The Rivard Report wrote about the SAC programs and its students in a story last year about their downtown public art project. 

(Read more: SAC Students Illuminate Houston Street With ‘Biotechnic’.)

Students at UTSA’s School of Architecture, Construction & Planning are expected to be on hand with their model of a redesigned Broadway and commercial corridor in Alamo Heights.

(Read more: UTSA Students Give New Life to Broadway Corridor in Alamo Heights.)

A model of Broadway built in 200o by Architects Carolyn Peterson and Alexander Caragonne, and historian and preservationist Maria Watson Pfeiffer also will be on display at the Pearl Stable.

(Read More: Broadway: A Street Still Awaiting Investment.)

In addition to Byrd serving as chairman of the ideas competition jury, members include: Sherry Kafka Wagner, writer and journalist; Brian Dillard, cybersecurity worker and Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association president-elect; Marina Alderete Gavito, executive director of Tech Bloc; Kevin Peckham, executive director of Choose San Antonio; Mary Heathcott, executive director of Blue Start Art Museum; Cruz Ortiz, artist and teacher; Roberto Prestigiacomo, associate professor of human communication and theatre at Trinity and director of AtticRep at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts; Marise McDermott, CEO of the Witte Museum; Gini Garcia, founder of Garcia Art Glass; Uchennaya Ogba, inbound marketing strategist with Bethany East PR; Vanessa Lacoss Hurd, CEO of the DoSeum; and Suhail Arastu, development director for Musical Bridges Around the World.

Byrd, the managing principal at ULTRAte and the former CEO of SA2020, will direct the jury as it reviews the entries in three different categories: 1. Reinvent the Underpass. 2. Public Space Getaways. 3. Wild Card choose your own site. Jurors will select two finalists in three categories and invite them to present their ideas during the program that will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at the Pearl Stable.


Top Image: Traffic is heaby along Broadway Street.  Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone 

Related Stories:

Hausman Road: The High Cost of Sprawl in San Antonio

Broadway: A Street Still aWaiting Public Investment

BYOBroadway: An Open Competition to Design a Great Street

Dignowity Hill: A Neighborhood With a Story

Urban, Linear Park Proposed for Alamo Heights’ Broadway Corridor

Avatar photo

Robert Rivard

Robert Rivard is co-founder and columnist at the San Antonio Report.