CityArts to turn Downtown Orlando alley into art space

In the heart of the City Beautiful, sits an alley that doesn’t quite live up to that name.

“Right now, it’s not being activated and utilized to its fullest potential,” said Barbara Hartley, Executive Director, Downtown Arts District.

The alley soon to be an extension of the new CityArts gallery in the historic Rogers Kiene Building at the corner of Magnolia and Pine. The dull alley to be transformed into an artsy courtyard.

“You’re gonna feel a really vibrant courtyard space, that can be enjoyed by the community, so you walk by it, you’ll see beautiful murals by local artists, greenery, modular furniture,” said Hartley.

Credit: Interstruct Architectural Design Services

Downtown Arts District, Executive Director Barbara Hartley believes the artistic oasis will be a unique retreat for the community to gather.

“Having it be a place that people can come and enjoy music, read a book and have special events in the courtyard area,” said Hartley.

A nod to Orlando’s history, the courtyard will be re-purposing bricks, iron, and archways from The Ballroom at Church Street, slated for demolition.

“It’s definitely better than it is now, which is easy to see,” said Kathy Day, Co-Owner, The Celt.

The co-owner of "The Celt,” a neighboring Irish restaurant, welcomes the plan and the business expected to come with it.

“Anything at all that helps to draw people into this side of Downtown is great for everyone on this street,” said Day.

CityArts has raised $160,000 through private donations, the price tag of the courtyard is $600,000. Once fundraising hits the halfway mark, the organization plans to apply for grants.

The opening of the courtyard is expected summer of 2021.