Names chosen for cultural arts corridor spaces in downtown Fayetteville

Crews work to construct a series of elevated trails in the Fay Jones Woods between Center Street and Prairie Street as part of the cultural arts corridor project.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The city’s cultural arts corridor now has a name.

The 50-acre outdoor public space in downtown Fayetteville will now be officially known as The Ramble, city officials announced Wednesday.

The corridor, which follows the Razorback Greenway from Dickson Street to Prairie Street, is being transformed into a public outdoor destination funded by a voter-approved $31.6 million bond issue. It will feature parks, a forest, trails, boardwalks, tree-lined sidewalks, terraced creeks and gathering spaces.

The name “The Ramble” is characterized by the city as:

A full embrace of the journey…not in a hurry to get from point A to point B, but rather, open to possibility…the concept falls nicely in sync with the cadence of a walk or a bike ride, spontaneous conversation, outdoor installations and gathering spaces.

The name is also a nod to Arkansas-born musician and actor Levon Helm, according to a news release. As a former member of The Band, Helm hosted Midnight Ramble sessions in a barn on his property in Woodstock, New York, until his death in 2012.

Within The Ramble, areas north of Center Street will be referenced as “Upper Ramble” and areas south of Center Street will be referenced as “Lower Ramble.” Corresponding on-site wayfinding signage will be added to help guide the public through the space.

City of Fayetteville

The city and its tourism bureau, Experience Fayetteville, earlier this year launched a campaign website asking the public to submit ideas for naming the corridor. Officials said about 250 names were submitted before being reviewed by a group of about 50 residents who signed up to provide feedback and help narrow down the list. A final shortlist of names was released and garnered about 660 respondents who weighed in on the finalists.

Officials said “The Ramble” was one of the two top choices, along with “Tanglewood,” so the natural area along Tanglewood Branch Creek has been named Tanglewood Park. The name references the creek and pays tribute to the restored waterway that naturally connects all areas of The Ramble.

Fay Jones Woods construction / Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The historic Fay Jones Woods space will retain its name, which is an homage to well-known architect and Fayetteville resident Fay Jones. A series of elevated trails and green gathering spaces are currently under construction in the wooded space.

Sections of the Razorback Greenway and West Avenue that are slated for improvements as park of the corridor project will retain their existing names.

Officials said the name “cultural arts corridor” will continue to be used as a reference to the overall infrastructure project, but the new names and signage will be applied as individual aspects of the project are completed and opened to the public. Eventually, once the entire project is complete, the city will transition all references to the new name.

Design and construction timeline

The first phase of the project kicked off last fall when ground was broken on the Fay Jones woods portion of the corridor. The City Council in March approved a contract to build the parking deck needed to replace the West Avenue parking lot that will eventually be redeveloped as part of the civic space portion of the corridor. Construction on the deck is set to begin this summer. The civic space work won’t start until after the deck parking is complete.

City of Fayetteville / Enlarge image

Concept images

Civic plaza canal concept / Courtesy

Fay Jones woods upper picnic area / Courtesy

Fay Jones Woods elevated trail / Courtesy

Tanglewood Branch stairs / Courtesy

Civic plaza grove and trail / Courtesy

Civic plaza canal / Courtesy

Civic plaza terrace lawn / Courtesy