Pedestrian-Friendly Art Projects Coming to Downtown Durham | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pedestrian-Friendly Art Projects Coming to Downtown Durham

Posted by on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 12:02 PM

click to enlarge picture2-_smart_back_porch_concept_-_daytime.jpg
Last week, the Durham Arts Council was awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The cash, which will arrive in the fall (along with another $100,000 in state and local matching funds), is headed for a parking deck on the northwest corner of Ramseur and Corcoran. It’s not going to cure downtown’s current parking woes, but it will almost certainly improve downtown’s aesthetic profile. We called up Durham Arts Council executive director Sherry DeVries on Friday for a little more info.

click to enlarge smart_corridor_map_1.jpg
So, this grant is connected to a larger plan for downtown Durham?

Yes, the SmART Initiative, which is actually a state program. Durham is one of five cities that’s a pilot project for the program. The idea is to create arts-driven economic-development projects that will drive tourism and create connectivity in urban spaces. In Durham, the initial focus is on connectivity between three main cultural hubs downtown: American Tobacco/DPAC; City Center; and the Durham Central Park area.

The goal is to encourage more pedestrian foot traffic between these areas so people don’t feel bound to, or stuck in, just one of them. There’s lots of people moving around downtown, but downtown doesn’t have very good wayfinding or lighting. Unless you know downtown, it can be hard to find your way from area to area. So we’re not maximizing visitorship and business activity.

What are the actual ways this grant will go about changing that?

The first priority is working on what we call the “back-porch zone.” This is the area where, if you are at DPAC looking north, you’re looking at the backs of a bunch of buildings—a big, long wall of buildings that are blank, not particularly well lit, not much signage. And they’re on the other side of the railroad tracks, which can seem daunting. So, to address that area, we’ll be installing an art wrap on the parking deck at Corcoran and Ramseur. It’ll be lit up at night and create a lot of color and interest at that intersection.

Isn’t there already some art on that garage?

Yes, the current art has been up there for several years. We’ll be using that existing infrastructure and expanding it on the south and east sides of the deck. (See illustrations.)
click to enlarge picture3-_smart_back_porch_concept_-_nighttime.jpg


Then what?

The second part of the project will be the installation of “ground-plane” art, which is a surface treatment that, either through painting or patterns in the pavement, produces repeating designs on the ground. The way it’s been conceived here, the design will be repeated at the railroad crossing to create a livelier intersection.

What’s the time frame?

We get the money this August, and it’s a two-year program, so we’ll have these two projects, and hopefully more, completed by July 2018. And we’ll be issuing an RFP [request for proposals] on these, both at the local and national level. We’ll continue doing a lot of community engagement on all this moving forward.

Tags: , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

the land will be landbanked by the school system, because land doesn't get cheaper.

by JohnNC on Should Wake County Spend Up to $20 Million to Convert a Failed Fuquay-Varina Golf Course into a Park? (News)

Why should the 1M+ citizens of Wake County invest in a piece of property enclosed by subdivisions in a town …

by aguseman on Should Wake County Spend Up to $20 Million to Convert a Failed Fuquay-Varina Golf Course into a Park? (News)

Most Recent Comments

the land will be landbanked by the school system, because land doesn't get cheaper.

by JohnNC on Should Wake County Spend Up to $20 Million to Convert a Failed Fuquay-Varina Golf Course into a Park? (News)

Why should the 1M+ citizens of Wake County invest in a piece of property enclosed by subdivisions in a town …

by aguseman on Should Wake County Spend Up to $20 Million to Convert a Failed Fuquay-Varina Golf Course into a Park? (News)

Democrats need 3 House seats or 6 Senate seats. Dropping below 60% in either chamber would end the Republicans' veto-proof …

by Lee Mortimer on Today in N.C. Gerrymandering: Redistricting Panel Convenes, GOP Leaders Confirm They Will Use Notorious Consultant (News)

"razing entire blocks to build a massive stadium in the middle of residential neighborhoods"

Where are you getting that? …

by JohnNC on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I'm glad to hear that Steve Schewel [founder of indyweek] will retain his council seat
if he loses his …

by Chris Tiffany on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Durham's Municipal Candidates (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation