The Downtown Arts District has finally begun work on its long-awaited arts courtyard project in an adjacent alleyway in downtown Orlando.

This week, crews started the process of installing repurposed iron gates that were salvaged from construction on the former Church Street Ballroom. The gates are the first part of the alley renovation which will completely transform the 20×90-foot outdoor space into a public courtyard with murals, seating, and public programming.

The gares were reworked by Mojo Metal Works (Website) and salvaged by Interstruct Design + Build (Website).

A more formal unveiling of the gates will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, December 14, to kick off the renovation, with a dedication by Mayor Dyer. The event will feature wine, beer, and light bites.

The Downtown Arts District announced a fundraising campaign in 2018 to fund the courtyard, named “Fordify the Arts,” in honor of late philanthropist Ford Kiene, who donated the building to the City of Orlando with the stipulation that it be used to foster the arts downtown for at least 20 years.

The CityArts building is located at 39 S. Magnolia Avenue [GMap].


Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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