Top 100 Public Spaces in the U.S.

The Circle: Uptown Normal, IL

The Circle located in uptown Normal, IL is a beautifully landscaped and sustainably designed multi-functional circle that provides community green space, re-circulates storm water into a public fountain and improves traffic circulation. Designed by the award winning Hoerr Schaudt landscape architects from Chicago, the circle aesthetically enhances the community surroundings creating an energy that naturally entices and draws people together. Located next to the Children’s Discovery Museum, bustling Amtrak station and planned multi-modal transportation center and within walking distance of Illinois State University, the circle creates a micro community of travelers, patrons, students, professors, families and children as they gather and congregate on their daily journeys.


During the day, the circle is vibrant and alive with children playing in the grassy areas, visitors coming for a place to sit and enjoy an ice cream or friendly picnic back dropped by the charming tree lined streets home to local businesses and shops. As the sun sets and dusk settles in, the evening nightlife and lighting transforms the circle into a magical place beckoning passerbys to stop and pause for a moment, take a seat next to the meditative koi ponds, enjoy the refreshing night air and reflect on the day. Images of the circle can be viewed here:

Additionally, the circle was also featured in an Inhabitat environmental article:


The circle is in the hub of many social and economic community events including the annual Sugar Creek Arts and Sweet Corn Blues Festivals, local shopping and farmers market. The circle was a meeting place for residents, local, state and national leaders during the 2010 Multi Modal Ground Breaking Ceremony when the town became the recipient of a Federal Tiger grant to expand its mass transit system. The circle was recently documented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its environmental and sustainable design featuring storm water recycling used in the public water feature and to irrigate the landscaping. The Uptown Circle also received the President's Award, the highest recogntion from the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in their Urban category:



An endearing destination for residents and visitors as a place to meet with friends and family for a day out strolling and shopping the uptown area or participating in community events, the circle is definitely a mainstay and asset to the Normal, IL community and should be considered as one of the top 100 public spaces in America.



98 votes
Idea No. 75