The Geneva Business Improvement District (BID) recently unveiled a plaque that recognizes Hobart and William Smith’s contributions to connecting the lakefront with downtown businesses. The plaque, which was hung above the tunnel, is on the lake side of the tunnel that runs under Routes 5 & 20.
“Dedicated in appreciation to Hobart and William Smith Colleges for their support and work connecting the Lake Front and the downtown by way of the Tunnel Project,” the plaque states.
“The partnership between the Colleges and Geneva is absolutely fantastic. We would like to thank the Colleges for all of their contributions to improving the city of Geneva,” says Bob Stivers, president of the BID board. Stivers praised past collaborations between the Colleges and Geneva, in particular the efforts of HWS’s Architecture Department in helping to renovate downtown storefronts.
Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning Katie Flowers and Vice President of Student Affairs Rob Flowers were both in attendance to represent the Colleges. The tunnel area has been a Day of Service and Orientation community service clean-up site for the past few years, helping to make it a welcoming place for both HWS students and Geneva residents.
The tunnel itself is a small part of the Colleges’ efforts to connect the lakefront with local businesses. Assistant Professor of Architectural Studies Kirin Makker worked with students to enhance the parking lot on the Geneva side of the tunnel, as well as to build a trellis and benches that flank the lakefront, thereby creating a welcoming façade on both sides of the tunnel. The trellis both highlights the lakefront space and creates a doorway that leads to a small beach where Geneva residents and HWS students swim during warm weather.
The Geneva BID was formed to promote an attractive and economically viable downtown (18.5 acre designated area) that is high quality in appearance and design, safe and attractive to property owners, business people, tenants, shoppers and visitors.