1st Street Plaza Expansion

An expansion of the 1st Street Plaza is planned for the grassy area at the southeast corner of Main & 1st streets. (Longtime residents may refer to this site as the former Manor restaurant.) The City bought the parcel of land in January 2020.

The new public space, along with additional planned enhancements to the area, will make the already popular downtown plaza a welcoming spot to gather. It will offer a central location for fairs and festivals, entertainment and events, or just enjoying the views.

Review the latest design concept documents on the right.

Project Survey

Thank You for Your Feedback!

We asked what you thought of the project and you answered! 988 residents, business owners, and visitors took our 1st Street Plaza Expansion Survey and offered more than 1,000 written comments. Read the results here.

Design Highlights

1.  Paved Plaza - The paved plaza will extend the existing plaza space to further enhance the 1st Street plaza area as a gathering spot in the center of town.

2.  Solar Pergola - The design currently includes a solar pergola structure that traces three sides of the new paved plaza and offers open views all around. Solar panels on top of the pergola will help power the plaza. The structure, along with accompanying trees, will offer shade.

3.  Art Piece - St. Charles is full of iconic public art, such as Mr. Eggwards in Mt. St. Mary Park or Ekwabet and Reflections near the Municipal Building, and so much more. The new plaza has potential to be a showcase for some type of public art installation.

4.  Closing a Section of 1st Street to Vehicles to Create a Pedestrian Walkway - Currently, the plan includes closing the northern-most section of 1st Street to create a pedestrian walkway, allowing additional space for outdoor tables, open markets, and events. 1st Street will be closed to vehicles from IL Rt. 64/Main St. to the entrance of the 5-story parking deck. This allows 1st Street access to both the 5-story parking deck and the parking structure across the street.

Public-Private Partnership

The 1st Street Plaza Expansion Project represents a public-private partnership hosted by the City of St. Charles, in conjunction with the St. Charles Initiative—an independent advisory committee of community leaders. The St. Charles Initiative offers a new approach to funding public projects through a combination of government funds and private donations. Click here for more about the St. Charles Initiative.

Project Financing

The $5.2 million project represents a public-private partnership. To date, the City has committed $1.3 million and other donations of $1.5 million have been received for this project. 

Project Timeline

Phase 1 construction was completed in Spring 2022.  Phase 2 is expected to be the final phase and will be scheduled when funding is available.

Part of the 1st Street Redevelopment 

The plaza expansion project is part of the 1st Street Redevelopment Project. Read more about the 1st Street Redevelopment here.