Clinton Square is the centerpiece of downtown Syracuse. It features a spectacular fountain surrounded by a plaza with outdoor seating. From June through October, Clinton Square hosts festivals almost every weekend, including Taste of Syracuse, Juneteenth, the Empire Brewfest, the NYS Blues Fest, the Northeast Jazz & Wine Fest and Irish Fest to name a few. For a complete list of festivals, visit the Events section of the Downtown Committee's web site. During the winter months the water feature is transformed into an ice skating rink. Clinton Square has a long tradition as a center of activity in Syracuse. The Erie Canal once ran through the center of Clinton Square and was the main loading and unloading point for cargo and packet or passenger boats. In 2001, the redesign of Clinton Square won an International Downtown Association Achievement Award.
Columbus Circle is surrounded by some of the most beautiful architecture downtown including: the Catherdral of the Immaculate Conception, Mizpah Towers, the Carnegie Building, and the former Onondaga County Courthouse. A fountain and a sculpture of Christopher Columbus anchor the Circle, where many downtown workers and visitors enjoy an outdoor lunch. Each July, the Circle is the site of the Fleet Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival. This three-day event features 175 artisans from all over the United States and attracts 70,000 visitors.
Community Plaza is the major public open space on the southeastern corner of downtown, and provides the setting for the Everson Museum of Art. The Plaza features spray fountains and a reflecting pool with underwater lighting, landscaping and trees, as well as benches for outdoor lunches.
Fayette Firefighters' Memorial Park is the one of downtown's most beautiful parks. The mature trees, fountain and monuments to fallen firefighters, and benches make this area a popular spot for outdoor lunches and relaxation. The site of Fayette Park was originally a swamp and wildlife area, but as the land around it developed, the area became a fashionable residential district housing some of the most prominent families in the community. The Hamilton White House, built in 1832 by banker, investor, and railroad promoter Hamilton White, is reflective of this period.
Hanover Square and its architecture date back to the days when the Erie Canal ran through downtown Syracuse. Today, the square features an ornamental fountain and a recessed seating area, shielded from the hustle and bustle of the city. Hanover Square was the site of the first well and Syracuse's first major commercial district. In 2002, many of the historic buildings in the Square were renovated and redeveloped into housing. This area is now one of downtown's most popular residential areas.