The First Master Plan
The Charles Center subway station in Baltimore, Constitution Plaza in Hartford, Conn., and Midtown Plaza in Rochester, N.Y., all feature expansive plazas that anchor the development around them.
These outdoor spaces served as models for Georgia State University’s first master plan, which the Board of Regents tasked Andrew Steiner of local architectural firm Robert and Company to create in 1966.
The resulting document emphasized a pedestrian-friendly design, suggesting “a new elevated ‘ground level’ above the hazards of street traffic” and the creation of a plaza and several courtyards, walkways and stairs to “[encourage] the unplanned meetings that are an important part of university life.”
Whether the university decided to follow the 1966 master plan or deviate entirely, the designers made it clear Georgia State’s presence in downtown Atlanta and its mission to offer a quality education to its students would be vital in tackling the biggest issues facing the city at the time.
“Indeed, the great universal questions of our day, such as poverty, ignorance, unemployment and social unrest, can be best solved by putting the best education possible in the center of the largest population areas,” designers wrote in the plan’s foreword. “Thus, great urban universities are mandatory.”
(cutline) The master plan was a comprehensive one calling for an elevated campus with a series of plazas connected by walkways. One major aspect of the plan called for rich landscaping of open spaces.