Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Historic preservation means a lot of different things

Restored neon sign, 266-268 Carroll Avenue, Takoma, Washington, DC
First photo: 266-268 Carroll Avenue, Takoma, DC, with the restored neon sign. Second photo: restored painted billboard on the east elevation of the building. Third photo: the rehabilitated building, before the installation of the neon sign. Fourth photo: art exhibit displayed in the storefront window of Electrik Maid, which is doing a better job of "merchanding" its windows since the neon sign was restored.

Under Mayor Fenty, Councilmember Bowser, and the Neighborhood Investment Fund, a small grant ($50,000) was made to the Old Takoma Business Association (which runs a Main Street commercial district revitalization program in both the DC and MD sides of Takoma) for facade improvement of DC commercial properties in Takoma.

The restoration and rehanging this neon sign was one of the projects. The sign had been removed in its entirety a number of years ago. The sign restoration project was initiated by the Electrik Maid community organization independent of the property owner. But that application initiated a discussion with the property owner that in turn led to the property owner reinvesting in the property in a significant fashion, correcting problems that had been lingering for years.

Rehabilitated painted billboard, Friedrich's Dry Cleaners, Carroll Avenue, Takoma, Washington, DC

Rehabilitated 266-268 Carroll Avenue, Takoma, Washington, DC

Art installation in the storefront window of Electrik Maid, Takoma, DC

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