Hamilton’s James Street Plaza transformation complete

The transformation of Hamilton’s James Street Plaza is finally complete.

After four months of construction, the plaza on Beaumont Street has had a new lease of life breathed into it with fresh street furniture, artworks, landscaping and tree planting.

City of  Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the changes to the space are impressive following the project which is aimed to attract more visitors, families, and shoppers.

“In response to community feedback we have delivered a safer, more appealing place for people to spend time,” Cr Nelmes said.

“Once COVID-19 restrictions lift, we will welcome the community back to gather and activate the space with music, markets and food.”

Councillor Carol Duncan said that the transformed plaza delivers an attractive meeting place for the Hamilton community.

“You can really see the community’s ideas and feedback brought to life, from the unique historical elements to new furniture and gardens,” Cr Duncan said.

“I love the special details like the built-in drinking bowl for our canine companions in the water fountain and I can’t wait to see the lighting display once it’s launched in the coming months.”

There’s a new lighting display as well which the community had a part in choosing – in June locals voted on their favourite of three lighting designs put forward by the University of Newcastle’s Future Art Science & Technology Lab (FASTLab), each celebrating a different aspect of Hamilton’s history and character.

The “Microcosmic Mosaic” concept proved to be the favourite and was developed into a full-length animation which will be launched to light up the space at night, after COVID restrictions have eased.

In addition to the lighting display, the rich history of Hamilton is reflected in artworks in the renewed plaza, informed by the research of local historian Ruth Cotton, author of Hidden Hamilton and through collaboration with the Newcastle Museum.

Image credit: City of Newcastle