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Design 101. What does the Design Committee Do?. Educate others about good design Provide good design advice Plan for Main Street’s development Motivate others to make change. Enhancing the image of each business as well as that of the district.

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

What does the Design Committee Do?

  • Educate others about good design
  • Provide good design advice
  • Plan for Main Street’s development
  • Motivate others to make change

Enhancing the image of each business as well as that of the district

Encouraging quality improvements to private properties and public spaces

Guiding future growth and shaping regulations

Creating incentives and targeting key projects

slide3

How does the Design Committee Do This?

  • Educate others about good design
  • Activities – to educate committee members
    • Develop building inventory
    • Civic club presentations
    • ‘Rehab library’ development
  • Training – to improve design awareness of committee members, property owners and business people
    • ‘Storefront Design’ workshop series
    • ‘Design Guidelines’ booklet
  • Publications – to call attention to good improvements
    • Historic walking tour brochure
    • ‘Then & Now’ column in local paper
    • Historic photo displays in store window
educating is job 1
Education is a critical function for the Design Committee. Not only do you need to educate yourselves but you need to educate the community.

Start with the Design Committee and board members. Using slide shows, videos and publications, begin the education process. This should include meetings where discussions about your Main Street can be used as specific examples in the learning process. You should also begin to develop opinions about your Main Street for future recommendations.

Take advantage of community or committee members who have architectural, preservation or store front design expertise. Have them give the Design Committee guided tours to discuss Main Street assets and liabilities. Begin to develop a strategy for making improvements to your downtown.

Develop a consensus of opinion because it is important for the Design Committee to speak with one voice.

To educate the community you will have to capture their interest. Use all Main Street activities as an opportunity to educate people about design.

It is up to you! Get the Design Committee fired up about Main Street. Your enthusiasm will interest other people.

Educating is job #1

KYMS Design 101

slide5

How does the Design Committee Do This?

  • Provide good design advice
  • Recommendations – offer concepts and guidelines
    • A picture helps property owner visualize – become familiar with local resources for historic photographs
    • Work with local architect or KYMS KHC design assistance
    • Scrapbook of great design ideas
    • Advise of local design guidelines
    • Visit with owners and talk specifics
  • Resources – information on materials and contractors
    • Develop building owner’s architect and contractor ‘referral list’
    • ‘Rehab library’ resources
    • Paint and awning samples kit
what makes good design
The Design Committee will probably be a group of volunteers with varying levels of expertise in the area of design. Once you have taken the time as a group to understand your own Main Street , you can identify and agree on the elements that give it a unique character. Then you can begin to plan improvements.

Start Small. Begin with small-scale and inexpensive improvements (planters, banners, paint, signs). Move to larger improvements as you gain experience.

Avoid Themes. Be honest about your Main Street. It has certain qualities that should be preserved and improved. Do not create a false past with historic themes or by making buildings into something they never were.

Create Compatibility. Look at existing materials, scale, proportions, windows, storefronts, detailing and colors. Use the existing architectural vocabulary to make changes. This will be consistent with what your Main Street is.

Stress Continuity. Main Street is a pedestrian enclosure. It should be continuous and up to the sidewalk. Demolition creates holes in the enclosure and should be avoided whenever possible.

Build Quality. Your Main Street was built with quality materials. Improvements should use quality materials as well. This costs more but will stand the test of time and makes a strong statement about your belief in the success and future of Main Street.

Don’t Copy. Main Street is not a strip mall. Facades are individuals and should be treated that way. Trying to unify Main Street will appear unnatural.

Be Realistic. Keep the Four Points of revitalization in mind (organization, promotion, design, economic restructuring). Design improvements help with the appearance, appeal and function of Main Street but will not reverse an economic decline alone.

What makes good Design?

KYMS Design 101

slide7

How does the Design Committee Do This?

  • Plan for Main Street’s development
  • Develop Long Term Plan for guiding future real estate development and public improvements
    • Downtown element of comprehensive plan
    • Public improvements within the district
    • Historic district designation + preservation ordinance
    • Parking strategies
    • Initiate the process and bring concepts to the table
  • Support regulations for use, construction and appearance of the district
    • Signage ordinance
    • Minimum maintenance ordinance
    • Design review ordinance
target key projects
Think strategically about the projects that you want to target. Go for the obvious ones first. It is easy to get the low hanging fruit.

Projects where you know that there is already a strong interest.

Projects that have high visibility such as large or corner locations, landmark buildings.

Projects that have a great need such as severely dilapidated properties.

Projects owned by preservation friendly people, friends of Main Street or buildings with new businesses.

Keep in mind, it will get easier as you get some projects complete. Nothing will get attention like a good, successful example at the local level.

Target Key Projects

KYMS Design 101

slide9

How does the Design Committee Do This?

  • Motivate others to make change
  • Carrots – design support, finance incentives
    • Tax credit application assistance
    • Work with local architect or KYMS KHC design assistance for to offer building owner free conceptual design assistance
    • Develop local rehabilitation matching grant program
    • Design awards program
  • Sticks – local ordinances, land-use zoning, building codes, and comprehensive planning
    • Sign/design ordinance review and updating
    • Minimum maintenance ordinance development
slide10

The Components

  • The District and its neighbors
  • existing uses
    • institutions,
    • successful businesses, residential use
  • opportunites
    • underutilized inventory, unmet needs
  • figure ground
    • infill potential
  • walkability
  • healthy, sustainable, invites retail traffic
slide11

The Components

  • The Streetscape - public improvements
slide12

The Components

  • The Streetscape - public improvements
slide13

The Components

  • The Buildings – create a street corridor
slide14

The Components

  • The Buildings – create a street corridor

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimoreinfillsurvey/3453788585/in/photostream/

slide15

The Components

  • The Buildings – create a street corridor

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimoreinfillsurvey/3453788585/in/photostream/

slide16

The Components

  • The Buildings – create a street corridor

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimoreinfillsurvey/3453788585/in/photostream/

slide17

The Components

  • The Buildings – create a street corridor

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimoreinfillsurvey/3453788585/in/photostream/

slide18

The Components

  • The Buildings – create a street corridor

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baltimoreinfillsurvey/3453788585/in/photostream/

slide19

The Components

  • Quality – depends on scale and transparency
slide20

The Components

  • The Facade – parts of commercial storefronts
mr muddle is an architectural model that represents a typical new downtown building in the 1880 s
Mr. Muddle is an architectural model that represents a typical new downtown building in the 1880’s

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Brick construction for fire protection. Fire, in many cases, would have cleared the block where this building is built. Adjacent buildings would be similar with shared, party walls.
  • Lower Façade: Transom windows provide needed light into the back of the store. Recessed entry with display windows and bulkheads provide areas to show wares.
  • Upper Façade: Living quarters inside are reflected in the residential details of the facade.
building pediments are often missing
Building Pediments are often missing

It was very typical for buildings to have a decorative pediment at the top giving a name of the building, often the same as the original owner. Because of the exposed location these pediments were subject to deterioration and hard to repair. Also a new owner may not have wanted the original owners name on his building.

filling or covering upper story windows
Filling or covering Upper Story Windows

As the economic vitality of downtowns waned with the advent of suburban living and sprawl, the upstairs living quarters in downtown buildings were less in demand. In many cases the owner would use these areas for storage or simply leave them empty. The wood, double hung windows on the upper floors were an architectural feature that needed maintenance. Windows were often filled in with brick or block or covered over with wood or metal. Like Transom Windows, the original windows often still exist behind the covering or even the infill and can be re-exposed. Without the windows, a building looks rather soulless.

the covering of storefront transom windows
The covering of Storefront Transom Windows

Storefront Transom Windows were very important before electricity was available. They allowed more light into the rear areas of the store so products could be seen. The Transom Windows were often made of leaded glass and therefore often needed maintenance. When electricity became available, the Transom Windows were very frequently covered over with wood or metal. In many cases, however, the windows still exist behind the covering and can be re-exposed.

the covering of the cornice and the need for air conditioning
The covering of the Cornice and the need for Air Conditioning

Along with the covering of the Transom Windows and the filling of the Upper Story Windows, this drawing shows the covering of the Building Cornice and the addition of an Air Conditioner over the door.

The Building Cornice was typically made up of pressed sheet metal components and subject to rust and deterioration. Instead of maintaining this detailed architectural element, it was often covered with metal or vinyl. In most cases, the cornice still exists behind the covering and can be re-exposed.

Air Conditioners over doors provided a constant drip, drip drip on customers entering or exiting.

the addition of slip covers
The addition of Slip Covers

With the advent of “Strip Malls” and sprawl, business owners tried to combat the downtown economic downturn with a modern look. Slip Covers were light weight metal mesh or other materials that completely covered the building above the storefront. Generally the original façade exists behind the covering and can be dramatically and quickly exposed by removing the cover.

State Farm Building Murray, KY

the addition of slip covers1
The addition of Slip Covers

State Farm Building Murray, KY

the addition of slip covers2
The addition of Slip Covers

State Farm Building Murray, KY

pullen building in georgetown
Pullen Building in Georgetown

This previously vacant building now houses a retail business and second story apartment.

closing the storefront to prevent visibility
Closing the Storefront to prevent visibility

A response to the economic downturn on main streets was to find other uses for storefronts. In many cases the use was not consistent with the original retail use that required large display windows.

In this example, the building has become a bar, the windows have been covered over and the glass doors replace with solid doors. This is to create privacy for the customers who may not want to be seen.

This dramatically changes the architecture of the building and destroys the intended interaction between the pedestrian and the retailer. The change to the feel and image of downtown can be dramatic and negative.

changing the storefront because of a new use
Changing the Storefront because of a New Use

Along with the covering of the Cornice and the filling of the Upper Story Windows, this drawing shows the covering of the entire Storefront.

A response to the economic downturn on main streets was to find other uses for storefronts. In many cases the use was not consistent with the original retail use that required large display windows.

In this case the Storefront has become some kind of office space. The professional knows his clients do not necessarily want to be seen from the street. There are other ways to screen the view without applying a new Storefront.

The details shown here reflect Colonial Architecture that is inappropriate and dramatically pre-dates this Victorian Building.

the addition of a wood shingle mansard
The addition of a Wood Shingle Mansard

In the 1970s and 1980s many buildings had Wood Shingle Mansards added in the area where the Transom Windows were.

At the time, this may have given a new, natural look but over time the shingles have curled, become stained and look dated.

An more appropriate action would have been to repair the Transom Windows and add a cloth awning to provide shade and protection from the rain.

w h brown building in shelbyville
W. H. Brown Building in Shelbyville

The addition of this rather unique Wood Shingle Mansard provided a very successful disguise for this wonderful Deco Façade. Fortunately the façade was under the mansard just waiting to be re-exposed.

the resurgence of healthy downtowns
The resurgence of Healthy Downtowns

There is growing evidence that with the work of Main Street Organizations, the vitality of downtowns can improve.

By encouraging people to come downtown to shop, work and live, life returns to Main Street.

The retailers will naturally follow the people to serve their needs.

With creative funding for the rehabilitation of downtown buildings, they can return to their original appearance and use, providing space for living, working and retail establishments.