Canton Considers an Ambitious Plan for Downtown

Jan 10, 2017

One of Canton’s proposed downtown revitalization projects has gone up substantially in cost and in altitude.  

Architects presentation to Canton civic and business leaders
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU

A dozen civic and business leaders came to Canton City Hall to see a new design for Market Square -- a downtown block that many in town still call the Kresge lot for the retail store that was long-ago torn down.

As expected, there was green space and a stage. And then, not so expected, an image of something towering nearly 200-feet above all that, a graceful metal frame repeating the abstract football-shape atop the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In summer, it would also be a water feature--a kind of man-made waterfall.

Stylized Football Tower and Water Feature seen from above
Credit WKSU

Architect Rex Carpenter called it a “signature feature” -- like a small St. Louis Arch -- to make Canton distinctive and attractive to visitors.

“You know the arch signified the gateway to the west.  So that was the inspiration for that. This is about the football.  It’s the five seams of the football.  So it doesn’t work anywhere else.”

It would take $9 -million for this plan, twice what an earlier one was to cost. But Canton Mayor Tom Bernabei is hopeful funding will be found so the project can be completed in 2019.