Civic center
A civic center or civic centre (see "American and British English spelling differences
American and British English spelling differences
One of the ways in which American English and British English differ is in spelling.-Historical origins:In the early 18th century, English spelling was not standardized. Differences became noticeable after the publishing of influential dictionaries...

") is a prominent land
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 area within a community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 that is constructed to be its focal point or center. It usually contains one or more dominant public buildings
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

, which may also include a government building. Recently, the term "civic center" has been used in reference to an entire central business district
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

 of a community or a major shopping center in the middle of a community. In this type of civic center, special attention is paid to the way public structures are grouped and landscaped.

In some American cities, a multi-purpose arena is named "Civic Center", for example Columbus Civic Center
Columbus Civic Center
Columbus Civic Center is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Columbus, Georgia, built in 1996.-History:The arena was built in 1996, along with a Softball Complex, to fully complete South Commons...

. Such "Civic Centers" combine venues for sporting events, theaters, concerts and similar events.

Notable civic centers

  • Miami Civic Center
    Civic Center (Miami)
    Civic Center is a neighborhood in the city of Miami, Florida USA. The Civic Center is bound roughly by Northwest 20th Street and 14th Avenue to the northwest, the Dolphin Expressway and the Miami River to the south and west, and the Midtown Interchange and I-95 to the east.The Civic Center has the...

  • Tallahassee Civic Center
  • Mid-Hudson Civic Center
    Mid-Hudson Civic Center
    The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is a venue in Poughkeepsie, NY, USA consisting of Mair Hall and the McCann Ice Arena . It was built in the 1970s as part of the general attempt at rehabilitation of the central district of the City of Poughkeepsie...

  • San Francisco Civic Center
  • Honolulu Capitol District
    Downtown Honolulu
    Downtown Honolulu is the current historic, economic, governmental, and central part of Honolulu—bounded by Nuuanu Stream to the west, Ward Avenue to the east, Vineyard Boulevard to the north, and Honolulu Harbor to the south—situated within the larger Honolulu District...

  • National Mall
  • Civic Center, Denver
    Civic Center, Denver
    Civic Center is a neighborhood and park in Denver, Colorado. The area is known as the center of the civic life in the city, with numerous institutions of arts, government, and culture as well as numerous festivals, parades, and protests throughout the year...

  • Florence Civic Center
    Florence Civic Center
    The Florence Civic Center is a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Florence, South Carolina. It hosted the infamous eighth WWF In Your House pay-per-view in 1996, during which a storm knocked out the power and thus the broadcast signal during the event. The card was retelecast two nights later from...

  • Ottawa Civic Centre
    Ottawa Civic Centre
    The Ottawa Civic Centre, also known as the J. Benson Cartage Centre for 2011–2012, is an indoor arena located in Ottawa, Ontario, seating 9,862. With temporary seating and standing room it can hold 10,585. Opened in December 1967, it is used primarily for sports, including curling, figure skating,...

  • Hartford Civic Center
    Hartford Civic Center
    The XL Center, formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, is a multi-purpose arena and convention center located in downtown Hartford, Connecticut, USA. It is owned by the City of Hartford and operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group under contract with the Connecticut Development Authority...

  • Providence Civic Center
  • Springfield Civic Center
  • Peoria Civic Center
    Peoria Civic Center
    Peoria Civic Center is a convention center located next to Peoria City Hall in downtown Peoria, Illinois. USA. It has an arena, a theater, an exhibit hall, and meeting rooms...

  • Millennium Park
    Millennium Park
    Millennium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago in Illinois, USA and originally intended to celebrate the millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city's Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously...

  • Cumberland County Civic Center
    Cumberland County Civic Center
    The Cumberland County Civic Center is a 6,733-seat multi-purpose arena, in Portland, Maine. Built in 1977, at a cost of $8 million, it is home to the Portland Pirates ice hockey team, various trade shows and the Maine Principals' Association high school basketball tournament...

  • Los Angeles Civic Center
  • Saint Paul Civic Center
  • Evansville Civic Center Complex
    Evansville Civic Center Complex
    The Evansville Civic Center Complex is the location of all city offices for the City of Evansville and County of Vanderburgh, including the Evansville Police Department and the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department. The Vanderburgh County Courts System is in the Northeast Building. The EVSC...

  • New York City Civic Center
    Civic Center, Manhattan
    Civic Center is a neighborhood in downtown Manhattan covering the area around New York City Hall. It is bounded on the west by Broadway, on the north by Chinatown, on the east by the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge, and on the south by the Financial District.As in other civic centers, it is the...

Civic centers in the UK

In most cases civic centers in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 are a focus for local government offices and public service buildings. The Cardiff Civic Centre
Cathays Park
In addition to the large lawn in front of the City Hall, Cathays Park includes three formal gardens. All of the spaces are within conservation areas and many of the surrounding buildings are listed. The open spaces are very important to the image of the city. Several important buildings overlook...

 is probably the oldest and best preserved civic centers in the UK. With reforms of local government in London in 1965 and across England in anticipation of the implementation of the Redcliffe-Maud Report
Redcliffe-Maud Report
The Redcliffe–Maud Report is the name generally given to the report published by the Royal Commission on Local Government in England 1966–1969 under the chairmanship of Lord Redcliffe-Maud.-Terms of reference and membership:...

 in 1974, a number of local authorities commissioned new civic centers sometimes funded by disposing of their 19th Century Town Hall buildings. Sir Basil Spence
Basil Spence
Sir Basil Urwin Spence, OM, OBE, RA was a Scottish architect, most notably associated with Coventry Cathedral in England and the Beehive in New Zealand, but also responsible for numerous other buildings in the Modernist/Brutalist style.-Training:Spence was born in Bombay, India, the son of Urwin...

 was responsible for designing three of these civic centers:
  • Hampstead Civic Centre, which was only partially completed; and of which only the Swiss Cottage Library (1964) still exists.
  • Sunderland Civic Centre (1970).
  • Kensington and Chelsea Civic Centre (1977).

Other noteworthy civic centers include:
  • Barking and Dagenham Civic Centre at Becontree Heath
    Becontree Heath
    Becontree Heath is an open space in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The name has also been unofficially applied to the local area, in particular to the RM8 postal district....

  • Newcastle Civic Centre
    Newcastle Civic Centre
    Newcastle Civic Centre is a civic centre located in the Haymarket area of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the main administrative and ceremonial centre for Newcastle City Council. Designed by the city architect, George Kenyon, the building was completed in 1967 and was formally opened by HM...

  • Southampton Civic Centre
    Civic Centre, Southampton
    The Civic Centre in Southampton is the home of Southampton City Council.It hosts a police station, council offices, the Guildhall venue, the well-endowed city art gallery, and the city library...

  • Newport Civic Centre
    Newport Civic Centre
    Newport Civic Centre is the seat of government for the city of Newport, South Wales and is a Grade II* Listed building in the Art Deco style. Newport City Council has its main offices located in the building which also includes Magistrates' Courts and a Crown Court complex...

     (main building 1940, clock tower completed 1964).
  • Civic Centre, Swansea (opened in 1982 as the County Hall)
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