RochMN Community Invited to Celebrate the Peace Plaza


This post is sponsored by Destination Medical Center

Peace Plaza in the Heart of the City // photo by:

Phase One of the Heart of the City reimagining of the downtown Peace Plaza area has reached completion.  This special project was first started in January of 2020, just a few weeks prior to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Though faced with numerous challenges, the construction project steadily moved along.  First came the infrastructure work.  This important work set the groundwork for generations to come by building with the future in mind. And that’s what makes the historical find of three old coal chutes that much more interesting.  You can learn so much about the past when preparing for the future!

All along the way, we had a great time chatting with all sorts of construction workers and learning about the different machinery that helped get the job done.

As the Heart of the City entered a new phase of construction the focus turned to elements that would bring beauty, nature, and art to downtown Rochester, MN.  We learned about the types of trees that line the streets and the important function they serve, various pieces of artwork that are permanently installed in the Heart of the City, and the symbolism they bring to the geography of the land. As the Heart of the City construction reached important construction milestones, the city even had a chance to see how this special downtown space will be used for future events when the first Roller Disco was held for the enjoyment of Rochester MN citizens.

“A Not So Private Sky” by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle // photo by:

Now comes the final milestone, dedicating and commemorating the Heart of the City to the citizens of Rochester.   The deep desire of Destination Medical Center is that this will become a hub for community, life, art, and healing. The City of Rochester and DMC are excited to highlight all the Peace Plaza’s innovations and potential. 

photo by:

On Wednesday, May 18th, there will be a public Peace Plaza commemoration ceremony from 1:30 – 2:00 PM.  Afterward, there will be a community celebration event from 2:00 – 6:00 PM. Activities are planned throughout the afternoon to showcase the new Peace Plaza and the Heart of the City space with various Rochester MN community partners.  These activities include:

  • The Rochester Art Center and various artists will engage community members with public art in public spaces through the act of “en Plein air” art making. “En Plein air” translates to “in the open air” and takes art-making out of the studio and into the streets. Passersby and attendees of the community celebration will be invited to create alongside experienced artists in mobile, pop-up sketching exercises.
  • The Rochester Public Library will use inspiration from the work of Ann Hamilton and Gwen Westerman to provide an opportunity for attendees to celebrate the art of words.
  • Pop-up Interactive art with spoken-word artist, Danny Solis. Using poetry, music, humor, and improvisation, Danny will encourage attendees to feel at home in the newly commemorated and re-dedicated Peace Plaza.
  • Family-friendly music performances featuring musicians that represent Rochester’s thriving music scene.
  • A Mindfulness Walk from Grounded Evolution includes a yoga experience as well as a mindful experience that includes instruction for simple, practical meditation exercises participants can do in the plaza and everyday routines, regardless of experience level.
  • A celebration of the Women in Construction that helped bring Phase One of the Heart of the City to completion. From design to the hand laying of thousands of granite pavers – this project was touched by many – including very talented women.  This special celebration will be held from 4:00 – 5:00 PM in the Chateau Theatre.
Peace Plaza Fountain // photo by:

For complete information, please visit Destination Medical Center.

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Rochester Mom is written by and for moms who live in the Rochester MN area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses and seeking to connect moms both on and offline.


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