Normal Municipal Plaza Fountain

Location: Normal, Illinois

Client: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects

Year of Completion: 2010

Area: 4.78 acres


  • ULI Urban Open Space Awards Finalist, 2020
  • US FTA/FHA Transportation Planning Excellence Award, 2012
  • US EPA National Award from Smart Growth Achievement, 2011
  • Illinois ASLA President’s Award, Urban Category, 2010
  • ASLA Illinois Presidential Award, 2010

Uptown Normal’s Circle is a living plaza where naturally-cleansed stormwater, public space, and transportation work in unison. The Circle cleanses water collected from surrounding streetscapes through chemical-free filtration bogs and then returns it to the site in the form of a public water feature. Later, this water is recycled into an irrigation system for the adjacent streetscapes. The inner elements are composed of an upper pool which flows into a non-planted, gradually stepped sluice, and the surrounding ring contains plants and gravel. Water percolates up through the gravel and plants, and ultimately ends up in a subterranean reservoir, which also supplies circulation for the non-planted areas. An abandoned storm sewer is used as a cistern for rain catchment. The fountain therefore requires little if any city supplied water.