|MARY FITZGERALD SQUARE
Launched by President Thabo Mbeki in December 2000, to a 20 000-strong crowd who were treated to the best of South African jazz, this square has become a sought after venue for public performances and gatherings. Originally known as Aaron's Ground and later renamed Mary Fitzgerald Square, this former wagon site was used for the many strikers' meetings at the turn of the 20th century. This square lies at the heart of Newtown. It was renamed Mary Fitzgerald Square in 1939, in honour of the first woman trade unionist who played a key role in the 1910 miners' strike.
The new square has the capacity for over 50 000 people and provides an outdoor space for a wide array of activities, including outdoor film festivals, concerts, markets, carnivals and exhibitions. The square also boasts the biggest outdoor LED screen on the continent, measuring 55m². Two sky disks are major elements on the square. The first depicts the stellar constellation as at the birth of Mary Fitzgerald, the second depicts the constellation as at the first democratic election of 27 April 1994. There is a third, which can be found at the entrance to the MuseuMAfricA depicting the constellation as at the official launch of the square on 16 December 2001 - Reconciliation Day. The disks use unique optic fibre lights that glow in the dark.
Renowned French lighting engineer, Patrick Rimoux was commissioned to design the lighting for this square as well as for the surrounding public open spaces. The unique lighting provides essential street lighting whilst giving the area a distinct ambience.