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Watch for obvious signs of change downtown — big red and yellow ones, perhaps, or ones that sway in the breeze.
The city has hired Kristin Cypher, owner of C+B Design, to create new directional and gateway signs for downtown. She presented three options to Littleton City Council on May 27, which she said were designed to be very different from each other. The idea is that certain elements from each might be more popular than others, and she can blend those into something that, hopefully, most people will like.
“You want to have a space that feels like it has a palette, a theme to it,” said Cypher.
The most traditional design capitalizes on the Littleton Courthouse cupola, perhaps the most iconic architecture in the city. The second is more modular and emphasizes red and yellow, Littleton's theme colors. The most modern choice features kinetic sculpture at the east and west gateways, where there are existing brick planters.
The traditional design seems to be the trending favorite on OpenLittleton.org, the city's opinion-gathering website.
“I think Concept A best reflects the feel of Littleton,” wrote one person. “Besides the historic, simple and clean look, the focal point of the signage, the cupola, is probably what most residents (the ones who have been here for a while, anyway) envision when thinking of Littleton. Who doesn't travel east over the railroad and light-rail tracks and look up at the beautiful, historic courthouse on the hill? We need to keep as much of that historic feel as we can.”
Cypher expects to have a final proposal ready in June. It will include street-name signs, gateway art, directional and informational signs, and destination identifiers at places like Town Hall Arts Center, Littleton Station and trail entrances. It will include the entire “football” area, generally bordered by Arapahoe Community College, Santa Fe Drive, the courthouse and Geneva Park.
Side-street business will likely benefit from signage pointing people their way, notes Cypher.
“You can't assume people are going to know how to use downtown,” she said. Students at the college might venture downtown for lunch if they knew what was there, for example, or Santa Fe commuters might pop in for happy hour.
“A great district brand not only highlights key attributes of a downtown, it also creates an emotional bond with residents and visitors, and provides business and property owners with a solid foundation for marketing and promotion,” reads the project overview.
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