Thursday, September 18, 2008

Market tour this Saturday

In September and April, CulturalTourismDC sponsors WalkingTownDC, an open house of sorts featuring tours around the city. This month, it's on Saturday September 20th and Sunday September 21st.

Richard Layman, Elise Bernard, and Ken Firestone will be doing a tour of the Florida Market. (If you want to meet us for breakfast, meet at K-Young's at 8 am...) The tour meets at the North exit of the New York Avenue (really Florida Avenue) Metro Station at 9 am. Paul Pascal, of the Market Property Owners and Merchants Association, will also be speaking about current development proposals.

We will be passing out a black and white 11x17 version of these documents:

-- Florida Market Map & Directory
-- Florida Market History Sign

although I don't know if the map side will be the "final" version as we are still debating some changes, which are in process.

Greater Greater Washington produces a very usable visible schedule of the Walking Town tours. See the entry: Fall WalkingTown DC visual schedule.


Councilman shifts market legislation timetable

From the Washington Business Journal:

Legislation to shrink the footprint of a proposed Florida Avenue Market redevelopment won’t be considered Sept. 16 in an emergency vote, as previously suggested by Councilman Harry Thomas Jr., D-Ward 5.

Though Thomas filed the paperwork for an emergency filing, which would not require a hearing or committee vote on the bill, his spokeswoman, Vicky Leonard-Chambers, said after seeking support from council colleagues he had reconsidered.

“We’re going to introduce it as permanent legislation,” she said. The bill will likely be sent to the D.C. Council’s economic development committee.

New York-based Apollo Real Estate Advisors LP and landowner Sang Oh Choi, were selected by the council in 2006 to transform what is now a 24-acre mix of wholesale food distributors and warehouses into a more dense mix of housing and hundreds of specialty shops, but are required to first acquire 50 percent of the land.

Shrinking the project’s size could help the developers reach that mark, but some of the property owners complained to council members in a letter from attorney Paul Pascal that the issue get a hearing so it could be “thoroughly reviewed and comments received by all those impacted.”


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Final version of the Florida Market "Guerrilla" Wayfinding and Directional Signs

It took awhile to correct bits and pieces and strays, but to the best of our knowledge, these signs are now "complete," recognizing that if they are erected, place-specific "you are here" markers would have to be added to the map sides of the signs.
Explore Florida Market directory and history signage, side 1
We have added a few services (Hess, Grainger, PNC, Maurice Electric) to the list and map, as well as lodging and nightlife categories. We added a wi-fi icon, not that places in the Market offer such services at this time, but to encourage its offering.

Part of why I wanted to take a crack at producing these signs was to show how [1] intra-district directory information can be provided within the typology of the DC wayfinding signage system--currently this option doesn't really exist; and [2] neighborhood/district history could be communicated thematically through signage, without necessarily having to have a "heritage trail" system. (Larger versions of the interpretation side could be used as a model for neighborhood history interpretation signage in bus shelters.)

We used a hybrid of the Heritage Trail sign system managed by Cultural Tourism DC and the Discover DC signage system managed by the DC Department of Transportation. But we changed the header to "Explore" rather than "Discover" to better reach out to people who aren't tourists, to people who live here and have "discovered" DC already but are still eager to learn about places we don't know.
Explore Florida Market directory and history signage, side 2

Another aspect of the map side of the sign that is a breakthrough concerns how transit is depicted on the map. Most non-transit maps in the area use railroad tracks as the graphic element to depict subway lines. Instead, to show the path of the red line subway, we used the same graphic style as the WMATA subway map--likely the region's most recognized map. We extended this idea and depict bus lines using the graphic elements from the WMATA bus maps.
he subway map instead of a railroad track to denote the line. (This isn't a first exactly, but it is still rare. DDOT and DCOP maps don't do this.)
WMATA Subway Map, Washington, DC

A broader interpretation system could be created for the area from Union Station to the Florida Market. A broader directional and interpretation system could be created for Union Station, NoMA, and the Florida Market, and include specific interpretational signage on the the area's railroad and transportation history. In other words, Explore Union Station, Explore NoMA, and Explore Florida Market could be part of one broader directional and interpretation system.

Additionally, I think it's important to create "transit wayfinding" explanatory signage for Union Station, to explain to visitors the various ways of getting around other than automobiles, since Union Station is the primary hub for all of those other forms of transit.

We will distribute an 11x17 black and white two-sided version at the Cultural Tourism DC tour on Saturday 9/20.

Christopher Taylor Edwards of This is None: Storytelling by Design, served as the art director-designer for this project. (THANK YOU!)

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