I saw the new City Plaza on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh for the first time this morning as public works staff were scrubbing the sidewalks and pruning flowers in preparation of the street fair Saturday. I have to say that considering all of the hype, and then the controversy that followed from residents upset about any obstruction of the view between the Capitol and Memorial Auditorium, the plaza was pretty unimpressive. It’s a nice bit of open space in a district that is already very pedestrian friendly. The light towers people were so concerned about are barely taller than the awning of the Sheraton that borders the square on the south, but they are blanketed in stainless steel oak leaves, which is a nice homage to the city’s history.
The best thing about the plaza is that it gives the Capitol District its first Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Four identical, smoked glass cottages sit at each corner of the square. Three of the buildings are slated to hold a Jimmy Johns Sandwich shop, a shish kabob restaurant and an arts & crafts center, but none of them are close to being ready to open. For now, doughnuts and coffee are the main attraction as the new Krispy Kreme stays busy churning out sweet snacks to passersby.