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Placemaking via public art : a case study for Olde Town Arvada

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Title:
Placemaking via public art : a case study for Olde Town Arvada
Creator:
De Rose, Mary Frances
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of architecture)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
College of Architecture and Planning, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Architecture
Committee Chair:
Karn, Gail Whitney
Committee Members:
Shirvani, Hamid

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright Mary Frances de Rose. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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PLACEMAKING VIA PUBLIC ART
by
Mary Frances De Rose
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the School of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture in Urban Design post-professional program


This thesis for the
Master of Architecture in Urban Design post-professional program degree by
Mary Frances De Rose has been approved for the Urban Design/Architecture Program
School of Architecture and Planning
Date
17 December 1987


"The identity, order, and beauty we bring to our environment are returned to us by giving us a sense of identity. We shape our environmen to paraphrase Winston Churchill, and then our environment shapes us."
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"I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. After all, what is reality anyway? Nothin' but a collective hunch."
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PLACEMAKING via Public Art______________________________
A GaA& &-LudLy -ftast Q-LdLe, dcuusi A^aceda.
Table of Contents
Prologue
History of this Project........................... I
Structure of this Report. ........................VII
Pcvnst 0n&.
Placemaking & Public Art
A Brief History of Public Art..................... 1
America and Public Art. .......................... 4
National Endowment for the Arts................... 9
Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities....... 13
City of Denver Municipal Collection............. 16
Public Art in Olde Town Arvada..................... 20
What are Placemakers?............................. 25
Justification for the Incorporation of
Placemaking Public Art........................ 35
o as aesthetic enhancement................ 3 6
o as a community catalyst................. 40
o as an economic development tool.......... 4 3
Pasvt, duic.
Placemaking in Olde Town Arvada
Introduction to Purpose and Methodology........... 49
History of Olde Town............................. 51
Mcllvoy Park................................ 59
Olde Town Square............................ 60
Use of the Park and Square....................... 62
How Olde Town is Viewed........................... 6 8
Overlays...................................... 76
Development of an Art Plan for Olde Town........ 78
Profiles...................................... 80
The Process of Prioritizing....................... 99
Suggestions for Implementation of the Art Plan..100 Efficacy of the Methodology of this Study.....104
General Issue of Placemaking - A Conclusion.......107
Appendices
Bibliography


PROLOGUE
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History of this Project
Arvada, a city with a population of 93,000 and a "city manager/council" form of government, is located eight miles northwest of the core of Denver. With its suburban housing developments and shopping malls, there is very little that distinguishes Arvada from Denver's other peripheral cities. However, Arvada does have a very special asset: a small business district with turn-of-the century architecture, a winding mainstreet, and a rich community history. This district is referred to as "Olde Town Arvada."
After residing in Olde Town for 25 years, I began to look, toward an imminent move from the area in October of 1986. During the transitional period from October to my April 1987 move, I was able to begin analyzing Olde Town from the perspective of an outsider — a vantage point that gave me some objectivity. This objectivity com plemented the knowledge I had garnered from my quarter-century residency.
From this new perspective, several problems (e.g. a declining revenue base, a high vacancy rate) and opportunities (e.g. the aforementioned established downtown business district, a well-organized Olde Town business community, historically significant architecture) became apparent.
I


In an effort to address some of these problems and opportunities within the context of the University's requirements for the urban design program and from the perspective of my own interests, I began to formulate an updated urban design plan for the area.'*' My plan would revolve around the theme of the "economics of cultural amenities."
While initially researching this amenity/economic development tool, I met the Director of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. He mentioned that the Center had preliminarily investigated the possibility of organizing an "artist coop" (one patterned after the
"Jc
Boulder Coop) which would be located in a vacant Olde Town storefront. That coop could be, according to the Center Director, the cornerstone of an area urban design/ economic plan.
The presence of other "cultural infrastructure" in the area lent credence to the concept of a "cultural amenities economy" for Olde Town. In February of 1987,
Olde Town's mainstreet (Wadsworth Boulevard) boasted the existence of the Festival Playhouse ( a small community performing arts facility), a commercial photographer, a soon-to-open craft/fine arts retail gallery, and, depending upon one's definition of culture, "...a plethora of some of the metropolitan area's finest antique stores."
The most recent Olde Town urban design plan had been completed in the mid-70's; see the bibliography of this report for more information.
(see Appendix C)


A summer arts festival was in the planning stages. And the Arvada Center was less than three miles north of the area.
Olde Town also had an in situ economic development organization comprised of members who were open to the idea of an area arts economy.
In an effort to involve any interested parties in this project from the outset while being aware that the success of any project depends to a large degree on the depth and breadth of support for it, I began to preliminarily gather endorsements from the community. Interested parties included the Arvada Planning Department, the City Council, the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority, the Chamber of Commerce, local property owners (both residential and commercial), real estate developers, the state arts council area merchants, and area visual artists. I then applied to the National Endowment for the Arts for project support.
At this point, I had six months to complete my investi gative studies.
As part of project preparation, I read the related literature (a list of which is included in the bibligraphy of this report) regarding the arts and city planning, amenity infrastructure, quality of life zoning incentives, and places as art. Perhaps most importantly, I also watched the progress of Olde Town's economic and cultural scenes.
Ill


By July of 1987, it became apparent that the "economics of cultural amenities" concept would simply not work in Olde Town. I based this conclusion on several factors:
1) the retail art gallery, which had opened to
such promise less than six months before, had closed;
2) the summer arts festival, which was held in
Olde Town Square in mid-July, had been very poorly received by the metropolitan arts community (the "arts activities," to quote one attendee, "were too amateurish in nature. The artists were not paid. The organizers treated 'the arts' with the same regard one would use to address a McDonald's franchise.");
3) the Arvada Center, once a nationally-respected facility, fell on hard administrative- and financial-times — a fact that was noted by both the artistic and philanthropic communities; this "fall into disrepute" lessened support for any sort of other cultural facility in the area.
Concurrently, I realized that, while the public and private sector political consensus existed with regard to my proposal, the indigenous talent that was necessary
IV


to maintain a project of this nature on more than a temporary basis did not exist. Given other responsibilities,
I could not commit myself to this project on any longterm basis. I immediately contacted the NEA and rescinded my grant proposal.
Perhaps most importantly, it became apparent that the problems in Olde Town, both economic- and design-related, were much more extensive than were initially apparent. It was unrealistic to believe that a master's-level project could effectively address problems of such magnitude. I, therefore, sought funding from Williams-MacLaughlin, a foundation that gives grants for purely academic projects (i.e. projects which may or may not have direct, "real life" applicability). Funding was granted in September of 1987.
Placemaking in Urban Design
Soon after reaching the decision to rescind the NEA grant proposal, several factors were brought to my attention:
1) the "architectural integrity" of Olde Town's
neighboring Arvada Urban Renewal Authority area became a topic of heated discussion among the city's political and business sectors indicating a newly-developed interest in the topic of a "sense of place";
V


2) neighboring suburbs publicly began to lament
the fact that they don't have "well-established downtowns" — areas that would bring a much needed "sense of place" to their collective suburban sprawl;
3) columnist Woody Paige of the Desvuesv PoAst wrote
a disparaging column which indicated that "...Arvada is a myth...the city that does not exist," (i.e. a city with no discernible identity.
Meanwhile, I had become interested in the topic of "public art" — specifically from the perspective of "placemaking" via public art. Olde Town could benefit from a plan that would strengthen its 'sense of place.'
And, while it is very apparent that public art would be only a small part of a much-needed updated urban design and economic development plan, the study would be of interest to me regardless of its implementation.
Given Olde Town's limited size, well-documented history and extensive public space, it is a suitable laboratory for short term academic study. Therefore, this paper will address "placemaking via public art with a case study of Olde Town."
VI


Structure of this Report
This paper is divided into two main parts.
Part I outlines the general topics of public art and placemaking. First, there is a brief overview of public art from both an historical perspective and from established programmatic perspectives (i.e. public sector/public art initiatives). "Placemakers" are then defined as a subcategory of public art — as a response to the all-too-prevalent sense of placeless-ness. The incorporation of placemakers is justified from three main platforms: 1) as aesthetic enhancement, 2) as a community catalyst, and, 3) as an economic development tool.
Part II of this report focuses on development of an "art plan" for Olde Town Arvada. The first chapter defines the purpose of and methodological approach with regard to the aforementioned plan. I develop an "Environmental Profile" of Olde Town using methodology patterned after the pioneering works of William Whyte and Kevin Lynch. The data from this profile are visually represented on overlays. From this data, an "Art Plan" (i.e. an explanation of placemaker opportunities and a prescription for their development) is included.
Finally, this report outlines conclusions regarding the general issue of placemaking, the efficacy of the applied methodology of this report, and recommendations for possible implementation of this plan for Olde Town.
VII


Pasist I
Placemaking & Public Art


A BRIEF HISTORY OF PUBLIC ART
The history of public art dates back to the beginning of humankind. The triumph of human civilization over nature's sometimes harsh wilderness led to the development of cave wall paintings. This pictorial record indicated that humans had begun to master the skills needed to exercise some control over their collective destiny.
This pictorial record also indicates that the public-art-of-the-time was also meant to serve religion; therefore, perhaps even in prehistoric times, professional artists were commissioned and their work supported by priests and chieftains (Von Eckhardt, 1982:23).
In the distant millennia of Mesopotamiam, Babylonian, and Egyptian civilizations, church and state were the same; the creation of public art in the form of embellishment was an integral part of the state religion (Von Eckhardt,
24). This intermingling gave the arts a strong support base but it also limited the "content" of art in the public arena (i.e. art could not oppose the religious/ state ideology). Art of this time was also often indistinguishable from the architecture itself — places were art, places were the most pAiALixi. type of art.
The formal concept of public/private cooperation was unknown for the next millenia. The Acropolis, St. Peter's, and Chartres were not built by private enterprise. Great art and architecture was the raison d'etre of government. Most great music, drama, sculpture, and painting were
1


created under state patronage.
During the height of the Roman Empire, elaborate theatres and amphitheatres were built throughout the conquested land. These facilities housed not only performing arts activities. They also served as museums for some of the finest statuary of the time, an institutionalized beauty that was, in the words of Arnold Hauser, author of the QacsLcvt A^ist, "...
meant to distract the people of the Empire from the cultural decadence that was all too much a hallmark of that era."
For about a thousand years after the fall of Rome, culture was practically synonymous in Western Civilization with Christianity. Architecture and the decorative arts existed only in the service of the Church.
By the end of the Middle Ages, the purpose of art and architecture broadened in scope. These public arts existed to "...enhance the dignity of (the state's) citizenship, their professions, and their humanity," (Von Eckhardt, 28) .
With the coming of the Renaissance, a burst of artistic genius coincided with a burst of personal wealth and power. It was the ideology of the time that the greatness of a ruler was measured by the greatness of the culture he secured for his people.
The concept of art was totally intertwined with the
2


power bases of the day. This intermingling, again, ensured the survival tsLmesi,, -tAs^LusLnq.) of the arts
-- particularly those in the public arena. But, as was true during the time of religious intermingling, the subject matter of public art often became a limited political statement.
Moreover, the Renaissance period placed emphasis on the philosophy of AjuruisvisUn.. Whereas during the Middle Ages, most men and women thought of themselves as parts of a whole rather than as individuals, humanism celebrated the importance of the individual. People began to take pride in their own accomplishments and judged others on the basis of "merit" rather than of "birth." Much of that celebration of the individual manifested itself in great art.
The Renaissance in art and architecture was followed
by several styles. But the awareness that history gauges
the greatness of a ruler by the greatness of the culture
secured for the ruled became imbedded in people's minds.
All over Europe, princes vied with one another by comparing
the splendor of their cities and courts, galleries and
gardens. This "court culture" survived the Reformation
and the Thirty Years War. It reached its peak in the
$
ceremony and bedazzlement that was the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette at Versailles.
Paris, the Beaux Arts city with its beautiful boulevards, palaces, and squares became the art/architectural inspiration
3


for the rest of the world. This "City of Lights" is still considered to be the ideal by which other cities are judged with regard to art and culture.
America and Public Art
According to Thomas Jefferson, culture was not confined to museums and concert halls. It included the way people lived -- on their streets, in their public squares and marketplaces, and along the roads as well as inside the homes, (Beardsley, 1980:42) For Jefferson, cultivation of the instinct of beauty was a primary concern not only of the moralist but of the statesman. This was especially so under a form of government which made no place for the "tutelage of an aristocracy." Art had an appropriate place in the public sector; in fact, government had an obligation to its citizenry to encourage art in its many forms, particularly art in the public arena.
Government was a formal patron of the public arts from the day late in 1792 when the commissioners of the
District of Columbia announced a competition for the design of the United States capitol. But this kind of patronage engaged the arts primarily to express grandeur and dignity in government buildings and monuments, inherently at the grandest of scales.
But this monumentality did not address the needs of the common man, the group for whom Jefferson had voiced such affection.
4


Before the industrial age, it was evident that humanity -- human settlements, community, and individuality -- was part of nature. Nature supplied the sense of place and, often, supplied an arena for artistic expression as well. The notion of monumental works as being the sole focus of public patronage missed the vast reservoir of opportunities for cultural/artistic expression offered much closer (both geographically and spiritually) to home.
A century later, the World's Columbian Exposition observed the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. It was held in Chicago in 1893, a year later than originally planned.
Canals and lagoons laced the grounds which covered 666 acres (Sandler, 1973: 47). The main buildings, which contained exhibitions of the wonders of the time, were finished in plaster and fiber; they shone like white marble in the sunlight.
At the fair, sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens remarked to Daniel Burnham, architect and the fair's chief of construction: "Look here, old fellow, do you realize that
this is the greatest meeting of artists and architects since the 15th Century?"
With the Exposition — its beautiful exhibitions and meeting-of-the- minds atmosphere — came the City Beautiful Movement. Artist/architect collaborations gained a stronghold in America.
5


Early in this century, the City Beautiful Movement reached its crest. Two-thousand municipal improvement societies existed around the country. Consultants were engaged to produce the usual package of park, boulevard, and civic center proposals. Individual architects put forth schemes for groups of monumental buildings, riverfront drives, parks, and playgrounds; invariably, the proposals involved the incorporation of public art. Government now had the opportunity to be involved in culture on a more local scale.
But, while the Movement left many cities more beautiful, much of the so-called improvement was "promotional ballyhoo" according to critics Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs. They denigrated the Movement as "inhuman and baroque" leaving the country with only "one heavy, grandiose monument after another, like frosted pastries on a tray." ~
It was not until FDR's New Deal of the 1930's that both the amount and the concept of government patronage were significantly expanded. Even then, the primary aim of the federal arts programs which fell under the administrative arm of the Work Projects Adminstration (WPA) was to help hungry and jobless artists during the Great Depression. It was almost incidental that the general public also benefitted from the programs works of public art — works such as post office murals and statuary. The WPA stimulated a burst of creativity that still
6


sustains American culture.
The effect of the WPA art programs was threefold, explains Constance McLaughlin Green in the Rise of Urban America:
People with special talents unsuited to ditch digging were able to survive with dignity, the creative arts won an officially recognized place in American life, and, as much of the art was of such a public nature, the man in the street found enjoyment in things that had long seemed out of his reach.
Art was officially in the public realm, most notably as a part of our public spaces.
The Depression was followed by WWII, and there was no longer any need for work projects. Nor was Congress comfortable with what seemed like the mixing of art and politics. Congress questioned, "Was not art, like religion, something that government should stay strictly out of? Could government be trusted not to stifle the arts with censorship or pervert them for propaganda?" Hitler's Mussolini, and Stalin's support of the arts was much in people's minds.
Constitutional doubts about a legitimate public interest in public beauty and public art were eased
7


in 1954 by the Supreme Court in Berman v. Parker. The Court held that it is within the power of the legislature to determine that the community "...shall be beautiful as well as clean, well-balanced as well as carefully patrolled."
In 1963, President Kennedy laid the foundation for the flourishing of the arts in general and of public art in particular. He declared, "...I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of its citizens."
Two years after that speech, Congress established the National Endowment for the Arts which included, among other disciplines/ a formal funding category for "Art in Public Places."
The following sections outline public art initiatives of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities, the City of Denver, and Olde Town Arvada.
8


National Endowment for the Arts
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Preamble to NEA's Statement of Mission
With the creation of the NEA in 1965 came the tangible realization that government should (again) be a formal patron of the arts. The NEA funds the range of arts activities — from dance to theatre, museum programs to folk arts, design to visual arts.
Given the focus of this paper, the following is a synopsis of public art-related programs at the NEA — specifically, the "art in public places" program within the Endowment's visual arts division and the recent Design Arts/Visual Arts initiative which attempted to encourage artist/architect collaborations .
NEA's Art in Public Places Program and Related Initiatives
In the 22 years since its inception, the "art in
9


public places" program has emerged as one of the most visible and controversial of the NEA's activities. It is not exclusively or primarily issues of quality that generate this controversy, although that certainly plays a part. It arises more commonly from the high visibility of artworks in the public realm. While "indoor art?' is protected to a greater degree, "outdoor art" is more vulnerable to ridicule.
Because the forms of art have evolved and diversified so dramatically in the last several decades, there is a disparity between contemporary artistic practice and public expectation of just "what art should look like."
Traditionally, public art works have been commemorative of great events or people or illustrative of common sociopolitical goals. But, although society has always been — to one degree or another — pluralistic, that pluralism is now frequently represented in art. Therefore, traditional approaches to art no longer are the norm. This change has led to the need to explore the applicability of the various forms of contemporary art to the range of contemporary public contexts. And it is the NEA Art in Public Places program that has served as the arena for this experimentation.
Through the Art in Public Places Program, the NEA supports community-initiated projects. The Endow-
10


ment does not solicit grant application nor does it demand that applicant purchase or commission a particular type of art. Diversity and self-initiative are key.
The Guidelines
According to the guidelines for the year 1988, past art in public places grants have supported "innovative projects for spaces previously unexplored as sites for artworks, both interior and exterior, and have encouraged an increasing number of younger visual artists."
Furthermore, "applicants are encouraged to consider imaginative approaches to possible sites; these sites include rivers, waterfronts, parks, recreation facilities, airports, subways, roadsides, and public buildings."
The Endowment will support projects on privately-owned land if the proposed area is one "to which the public has free access (e.g. a housing development or a university campus)."
Artist/Architect Collaborations
The most successful public art projects have been those involving the artist with the architect in the initial planning and design stages. Sometimes, however, a given public art project would require that the sponsoring organization apply to both the Visual Arts program and to the Design Arts program. Each
11


grant application was presented to separate juries, often resulting in only partial funding. Therefore in an effort to both encourage projects that would, from inception, team artists with architects and to avoid the "partial funding" problem, the NEA developed a special Design Arts/Visual Arts funding category.
While it will be a while before the "success" of the DAVA initiative can be fully measured, preliminary results indicate that the initiative has been a success from the perspectives of:
o encouraging initial and ongoing collaborations; and, o creating more livable environments.
In addition to these federal-level programs, there are public art initiatives at the state and local levels as well. The following sections address these programs for the State of Colorado, for Denver, and for Arvada.
12


Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities
The Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities (CCAH), the state's arts council, has had an "art in public places" program since 1977. According to a CCAH informational brochure, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Art in Public Places Act in '77 which required that one percent of the construction costs of new or renovated state-owned buildings be spent to acquire artwork for permanent display at the project site. Implementation of the law is the responsibility of CCAH. Over the last ten years, the law has been amended to strengthen the program and expedite the administrative process.
Current provisions of the law are as follows.
Establishment of the Law
The legislature originally introduced the "art in public places" statute "in recognition of its responsibility to create a more humane environment of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all of its citizens." It was felt that, through installation of permanent works of art, the working environment would be enhanced and the quality of state buildings would be improved.
Selection of the Artwork
CCAH, in tandem with the designated "client agency" (e.g. a state prison, an educational institution), appoints a different art selection panel for each
13


project. By law, each committee has at least eight members. Membership includes the project architect, a representative of the client agency, a local citizen, a tenant of the building who will use it on a daily basis, a professional artist (preferably one from the community), a CCAH board member, a state senator, and a state representative.
Acquisition of the Artwork
The selection committee may commission an artist for a work specifically designed for a particular site or the jury can purchase an existing piece of artwork. Commissioned artists are required to prepare and present a final design proposal to the jury before a binding contract for fabrication and installation is awarded.
In the case of a direct purchase, the artist receives a contract for sale and installation. Upon installation, all purchased (or commissioned) artwork becomes the property of the state and a part of the state's permanent art collection.
Funding History of the Program
The first work of art was acquired in 1978. As of 1987, approximately $675,000 of artwork has been purchased for the collection. Interestingly, as per a study conducted in January 1985, the assessment of the collection indicated an increase in value of
14


62 percent from the original purchase price.
According to the statute, not all capital construction projects are eligible for the percent-for-
2
art allocation. In fact only one-tenth of one-percent of all capital construction projects appropriated by the state since inception of the program have received "art in public places" funds. Therefore, the result over time is an average actual percentage of closer to .5 percent of the total project budget rather than a full one-percent.
Projects, such as highway construction pontracts, are
not eligible for such funds. Unfortunately, such projects
comprise the bulk of state capital construction expenditures.
15


The City of Denver Municipal Collection
The City of Denver does not have a formal "art in public places" program. The City does have, however, a public art collection.
According to a report published recently by Denver's arts commission, Denver's public art collection is "very eclectic and reflects the shifting interest demonstrated by its citizens in developing a vital and distinctive cultural environment," (Commission on Cultural Affairs, 1987).
History of the Collection
Denver's initial interest in the subject of public art can be traced to the 1893 Columbian Exposition and the City Beautiful Movement. Elements of the Movement were very much appreciated by Robert W. Speer, who was elected to his first term as Denver's mayor in 1904. Speer can be credited with initiating the development of the city's boulevard and parks system. Speer had an urban plan that involved not only the channeling of Cherry Creek and the planting of trees, but was also concerned with the establishment of a coherent municipal hub. Civic Center Park and the City and County Building are the primary products of that concern, and it is there that Denver's public art collection began.
Acquisitions
The land which became Civic Center Park (i.e. the
16


land that separates the State Capital Building and the City and County Building) was acquired in 1911. The design for the park was developed over more that a decade and incorporated the design ideas of several well known individuals, including Frederick Law Olmstead, Frederick MacMonnies, and E.H. Bennett. MacMonnies has established his reputation locally with the design and execution of the Pioneer Monument at the corner of Broadway and Colfax Avenue.
Mayor Speer was strongly instrumental in developing a private sector base of support for the development of Civic Center Park, and, in 1916, initiated the successful and, at the time, innovative fund-raising campaign that encouraged the public to "Give While You Live." This program provided the incentive necessary to generate the public support needed to complete the park by promising to inscribe the donor's name on the "Colonnade of Civic Benefactors" which flanks the Greek Theatre.
The Colonnade was completed in 1919, and in that same yeai; the City's decision to divert Colfax around the Voorhies Memorial reiterated the administration's commitment to the balanced, coherent design of its Civic Center, and to the realization of the City Beautiful plan.
In the early 1920's, two of the first acquisitions to Denver's art collection, the monumental cast bronze sculptures Bucking Bronco and On the War Trail, were placed in Civic Center Park.
17


The sense of civic pride illustrated by the acquisitions and planning conducted under the Speer Administration seems to have eroded over the course of this century, to which the decline in both acquisitions and attention to the maintenance of existing public artworks attests.
The most notable exception to this trend since Speer's initiatives occurred in the early 1970's when a coalition of citizens and business people from three groups (i.e. the Parks People, the 1-25 Artists Alliance, and Downtown Denver, Inc.) developed the "Art in the City" project. The focus of their efforts was the acquisition of small sculptural pieces which were placed in traffic triangles around the city to compensate for the decimation caused by the rampant Dutch Elm disease. This effort was also characterized by the copperation of the city government, which appropriated $25,000 in support of the project, funds from the NEA, and from the private sector.
This public/private partnership was responsible for much of the artwork acquired in the late 1960's and early 1970's, as well as some restoration projects.
Under the Pena Administration, the city is emphasizing restoration and the development of an annual maintenance program for the existing works. For example, the lack of proper care and restoration to the Children's Fountain in City Park has transformed this marble sculpture into a disastrous state. According to the inventory of existing works conducted by the City, more than 50%
18


of the collection is in need of rudimentary maintence and cleaning. It is important to note, however, that the City has not implemented any formal program to this end.
19


Public Art in Olde Town Arvada
Olde Town has a very limited history of the incorporation of public art into its environmental design schemes. In fact, an inventory of area public art would include only two pieces : the Memorial Fountain and the Water Tower.
The Memorial Fountain
While World War I was fresh in the minds of the townspeople in 1920, a lasting tribute was made to the 106 men from Jefferson County (i.e. the county in which Arvada is located) who had died in the conflict.
The Women's Relief Corps Number 35, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, had a memorial drinking fountain built in Mcllvoy Park.
The fountain had a basin on four sides, an ornamental light at the top, and a WRC-GAR plaque on the front. Unfortunately, because of extensive vandalism sustained by the fountain over the years, it was removed in 1968.
The Water Tower
Fifty-eight years after dedication of the Memorial Fountain, Olde Town Arvadans again decided to invest in public art. This time, the art took the form of a large-scale area landmark.
In response to a recommendation included in an Olde Town design/economic plan drafted in the late 1970's (i.e.
The Downtown Turnaround — see the bibliography of this
20


report for more information), the city planning office financed the renovation of a previously non-descript area water tower.
The renovation was a simple project. City officials felt that a new coat of paint and the application of an "Olde Town Arvada" logo could transform the tower into an excellent "community identification" design feature. Given the tower's high visibility, it serves as a beacon for the area.
Visuals of Olde Town public art follow.
21


The Memorial Fountain
The Women's Relief Corps Number 35, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, had a memorial drinking fountain built in Olde Town's main public park, Mcllvoy Park.
22


The Water Tower
er*o«r«cLby Cooo«y tf»<*Mn_0*(toa.AMOci«tw
During the tower's history, many civic-minded citizens have taken it upon themselves to decorate the tower with temporary embellishments. The "Olde Town Arvada" logo is ornamentation of a more permanent nature.
23


In order to understand how public art can be used in urban design, one needs to understand the concept of placemaking. A discussion follows.
24


What are Placemakers?
The legacy of the Modern Movement in architecture is all around us. With its austere approach to the various elements of environmental design has come "...the spectre of placelessness...a banal sameness that haunts not only the older commercial strip along the road to the airport but also the new development that is massively changing the profile of many a city center (leading to) a pesiuasisLae. (Fleming,
1987: 1) .
While this late 20th Century social/environmental ill is not peculiar to the U.S., we do seem to have raised the discipline of monotony all too often to an art form.
According to Richard Andrews, Director of the Visual Arts program at the NEA:
The complete lack of surprise in American landscapes is an awful failure.
In many European cities, you walk around and are never sure what's going to be around the next corner.
Sociologists have long studied the repercussions of humans inhabiting environments to which they have difficulty attaching an identity. And, while the various data may indicate specific reactions to specific sites, the consensus is that prolonged contact with a non-descript environment leads toward
25


a deep-seated sense of non-caring about that environment.
When confronting this condition of placelessness and trying to combat it, the community must seek ways to connect people to such environments. Otherwise, places remain dead spaces that tell no tales and offer no support — only a general feeling of the anomie and angst that social commentators ascribe to our age, (Fleming, 1-2).
Where Did We Go Wrong?
As mentioned in the first section of this paper, the human need to express a sense of identity is one with an historical (actually prehistorical) precedent.
And that identity, from caveman times forward, has often been expressed through art.
According to Louis G. Redstone, FAIA:
Since time immemorial, there has been a human quest to express human experience through art, whether historical, religious, or relating to the events of daily life.
This "natural predisposition" over time led toward various forms of art and ornamentation. Over the last several decades, this ornamentation has fallen into disregard.
According to Ronald Lee Fleming:
The tenets of the Modern Movement emphasized the integrity of function
26


that expressed the new technology in abstract designs of glass and steel and concrete. For a half century, the disciples of the Modern Movement looked on ornament as part of the decadent embrace of the 19th Century historicism and thus eschewed the ornamental narrative that such decoration creates.
Public art or 'placemakers' of a representational character with intricately worked surfaces and a wide range of materials, can serve as a counterpoint to these abstractions.
Beyond these isolated pieces of ornamentation is a more coherent artistic expression: the artistic expression of a well-designed city.
Shaped with grace and well-crafted, the city is stage and backdrop for our daily urban drama...yet this drama is often ill-proportioned and unfocused. This maladaptation is often reflected in the environmental design (Lipske, 1985:14).
What Are Placemakers and How Are They Created?
In essence, "placemakers" are public art that gives its site a sense of place — be they freestanding sculpture, inlaid brickwork, or a harmoniously designed office park.
27


In the Image of the City, Kevin Lynch stated:
As an artificial world, the city should be in the best sense mculLe* Ay,
a/ist cunA iJicupeA -f^o/L Aumasi fuc^iaAjesL.
When this "goal is met, an environment will have a strong spirit of place. But what does Lynch mean by the term "art"?
We are accustomed to thinking of art as an object that hangs in a gallery or sits in a plaza.
We also think of art as an event — a concert or opera or play. But places can be works of art (Lipske, 14) .
Environmental works of art that function as placemakers can accomplish a great deal. According to Fleming, works of public art, urban design, and artifacts can help us to define, reveal, enrich, expand, or otherwise make accessible the meanings of a particular environment. Each element can tell a special tale about the evolving character of its location (Fleming, 2-3).
This placemaking approach to design can have a major impact on an environment. This approach can entirely transform the locations the placemakers celebrate. Some can provide simply decorative richness, historic insight, commemorative relief, or just a whimsical bump-in-the-mind.
However many placemakers remain isolated
28


objects in space. It is important to realize that placemakers and their effect could be more pronounced if architects and urban designers sought to relate them to each other (Fleming, 6).
How can we make places that we love and value?
We can utilize a wide range of materials, oftentimes at modest cost (e.g. carved bricks, inlaid pavements, painted walls, mosaic covered benches, salvaged architectural fragments, cast aluminum reliefs or sculpted tree trunks) that can help to express the distinctive features or popular aspirations of a given environments (Ibid).
Other design opportunities include traffic islands, parks, alleys, proposed monorail stations, and sidewalks scheduled for repair (Lipske, 24).
Regardless of the medium or of the site, it is important to remember that placemakers have nothing to do with art or ornamentation that disregards its environment, i.e. they are not "plop art".
Placemakers are also not subject to quantification. The concept of rendering a place as art or a site as a placemaker is not something that can always be measured in square feet or calculated as a percentage of the municipal budget.
Categories of Placemakers
According to Fleming, placemakers can be grouped
29


into four broad types:
1) PZaxzj&ma^JzesiA. — works of art or a piece of urban design that makes no specific reference to a physical or social context, but merely enables one to remember a particular node because the work is there. This form of placemaker is particularly important in a highway culture.
2) CjesiesUxi. PZac^maAesv — responds directly to the content of what it celebrates but without a particular site or event. Generic Placemakers can commemorate
a function such as a substation or a popular local industry.
3) P— a category of design elements that responds to particular locations or commemorates particular people or events. Specific placemakers are most closely attached to a place; their value depends on the vesting of association and might significantly decline if moved.
4) P'tcu^e, -- the most comprehensive,
most frequently utilized; they include decorative elements created by artisans that reinforce the identity of a place. As discrete elements, they lack the power to be "place transforming" but, in the aggregate, such things as wrought iron detailing, stained glass scenes, crafted street furniture and the like define the character of a place — particularly if the decorative elements come together to complete a theme (Fleming, 10-11).
30


Examples:
This wooden construction located near the entrance of the Denver Art Museum is a . It has no
historic significance; the piece serves as ornamentation and as a location-reminder.
This bust of Governor Ralph L. Carr, is located at Denver 1s Sakura Square Garden. While the piece celebrates the accomplishments of a Colorado politician, its location is not particularly significant making it a
■p£cvCjeMCL&esv.


Artist Alphonse Pelzer created this bronze figure of a gold miner. The statue was originally placed atop the Mining Exchange Building which later became the site for Brooks Towers. The Exchange Building was razed, Brooks Towers was constructed, and the figure was placed at the entrance to the new apartment structure. This is a The bronze, sculptured doors which serve as the entrance to the Colorado National Bank Building on 17th and Champa Streets are p£cocje, esiAasuiesi^.
32


How Placemakers Work
Simply, pstcoc&MiaAesiA, create a sense of esiesu^y, which leads to a/ cx^yie, and
for a place.
Placemakers can serve as the handmaiden of urban design when they go beyond their intrinsic value as works of art or artisanry or their function as amenities. Below are four objectives that can give a placemaker an intrinsic role in urban design.
They can serve as something that provides:
1) direction within or to a place;
2) connection to a place;
3) orientation to a place; and,
4) animation within a place.
(Fleming, 8)
The concept of placemaking is an acknowledgement that color, form, texture, balance, and composition merit equal consideration with the economic and social demands that guide planning and development. New places incorporating art are created and old ones are saved when leaders recognize and articulate the vision of self shared by a community (Lipske, 19).
And, while placemakers and other forms of public art aren't a panacea for social ills, the city that is legible as opposed to chaotic, that rewards the senses rather than insulting them, heightens a collective sense of good design (Lipske, 21).
33


Therefore, graphically displayed:
Public Art which enhances a place = PLACEMAKERS
create a sense of energy >-
feelings of care and proprietorship
for a place.
34


Justifications for the Incorporation of Placemaking Public
Art
Urban policy prescriptions ordinarily pay little attention to the design of the built environment. An exception to this is the report issued by the Committee on National Urban Policy of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. This report states:
This section outlines three justifications used in support of the existence of various cultural amenities in general, and of placemaking public art in particular. These justifications include:
(McNulty, 1985:43)
1) as aesthetic enhancement;
2) as a community catalyst; and,
3) as an economic development tool.
35


As Aesthetic Enhancement
To speak of "aestheticism" can conjure up the image of dealing with trivialities: art for art's sake and nothing more. But an aesthetically-pleasing environment can do much more than soothe the eye. As Wolf Von Eckhardt writes in his book, Live the Good Life:
The identity, order, and beauty we bring to our environment are returned to us by giving us a sense of identity. We shape our environment , to paraphrase Winston Churchill, and then our environment shapes us.
(Von Eckhardt, 93)
The arts share a common purpose with planning in the exercise of helping to make a city livable. Works of art, whether murals, fountains, or buildings help to attract people to areas and define their uniqueness as places. The artwork which embellishes New York City's Rockefeller Center has given the city a unique place of a special and delightful nature; it is public art understood by everyone. Lawrence Halprin's fountain in Portland is another crowded public gathering place where water creates all types of spaces for people to relax by or to play in (Perloff, 1979: 99).
36


The creation of what Lynch terms a "distinctive, legible environment" can be aided by the presence of aesthetically-pleasing public art. And, as our lives get more mechanized and our country becomes more urbanized, as our opportunities to experience unspoiled nature get smaller, we need the beauty of art to give meaning and dignity to our lives and to our environment (Von Eckhardt, 1).
Aesthetically-pleasing environments aren't necessarily places one can immediately create by the placement of a piece of sculpture. Sometimes, the fact that a place acquires aesthetic significance has more to do with the passage of time than with a design element per se. According to Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Director of NEA1s Design Arts program, over the years some places take on new meaning as "landmarks or as vessels that hold our memories."
But places that are not originally designed well with an eye toward aesthetics do not, as a rule, stand the test of time.
Embellishment
At one time, architects, who were often artists themselves, hired artist-assistants to embellish their buildings. Historically, art as sculpture, painting, and landscape had a major role to play in the making of human spaces (Perloff, 104).
37


In this period of post-Modernism, some people yearn once again for embellishment. However, not everyone wants, as Tom Wolfe wrote in From Bauhaus to Our House, "buildings that catered to the hogstomping Baroque exuberance of American civilization."
But, many people have expressed the desire for more aesthetically-pleasing structures, ones with appropriate ornamentation.
Aside from being the fashion of the recent past, some buildings are quite bland to the eye because craft skills have disappeared and, where they exist, they are often very expensive.
It is sometimes difficult to justify the added expense of embellishment. An unfortunate prevailing attitude, however hostile, accepts the built environment as someone else's responsibility and that embellishment — whether plaza, sculpture, or landscaping — is somehow a questionable use of the construction budget (Porter, 1980:43).
But embellishment is important.
According to the book the Arts and City Planning,
(the presence of) plazas, parks, band shelters, fountains, sculptures, supergraphics, and other incorporations of art are, almost without exception, thought of being positive, important, and essential components of an environment... (emphasis - De Rose) .
38


The "quality not quantity" argument has its place with regard to embellishment in the form of public art. Art in and around public buildings need not be in great quantity to have an impact on the general public, but it must be there in a sufficient amount to effect a change in the cultural environment (Perloff, 104) .
Places as Art
The concept of embellishment on the scale of an entire office complex or a city gives us, in a sense, a new art form. It is made up, in part, of other art forms — sculpture, gardens, open space, buildings (old and new), the decorative arts, and temporary embellishments. It depends for its validity on the perception that the aesthetic whole is greater that the sum of its parts and that beauty of the uniAy is the essence of its interest and importance (Lipske, forward).
Aesthetics and Spirituality
Good aesthetics are a good spiritual investment. Mean and hideous surroundings that reflect a low, commonplace, or eccentric taste have a debasing and dehumanizing effect upon the spirit (Von Eckhardt, 2). A positively-viewed environment moves us beyond unevolved reality. As Roger G. Kennedy has been quoted as saying, "...art (must exist for) our sake, for the sake of our salvation from lives of skittering triviality."
39


As a Community Catalyst
Part of our communal self-awareness is our sense of what art means to us. Public art and the process of cultural planning help to focus attention of this self-discovery by integrating the arts into the everyday experience of area residents. This institutionalization of self expression can serve as a catalyst or — sometimes as co-conspirator — toward a shared sense of community.
Integration is Key
The late Josh Taylor, former director of the National Museum of American Art, stated:
Humanity is hurting. We have been so busy spinning our systems, gathering information, and explaining what everything is about that we have become elements in our own narratives with not a place to go to that we can call home.
In much the same way that fine aesthetics can lead toward a higher level of spirituality, art can define an otherwise normless society in such a way as to create a sense of and a reason for place.
40


And a way of creating this desirable condition is to form a close cooperation, ideally a merging, of the arts and urban design, of cultural planning and city planning (Von Eckhardt, 102).
This cooperation, or integration, can occur on many levels.
The best way to bring art into the daily life of a community is to bring the cityscape to life all year round...with singers, storytellers, kiosks, attractive pavements, illustrative manhole covers, and the like.
In order to fully integrate aspects of cultural experience, one must cultivate the fulfilling effects, all of the city and its suburban region, every aspect of life, in order to reclaim each day as a cultural experience. The good life cannot be compartmentalized .
As mentioned previously, culture, as our foreparents knew, isn't confined within the walls of institutions. And when art is placed where people can come into contact with it and it becomes a part of their environment, it can have a positive impact on public attitudes (Perloff, 104).
Cultural planners should reach out to find what is unique in the diversity of local people and their local cultural aspirations, and, in doing so, help to bring into being art districts and places of
41


public gatherings which are specific to those communities, according to Michael Pittas, former Director of the Design Arts program at the NEA. After all, "livability" means that the design of human settlements is in harmony with the citizens' landscapes, history, and regional traditions. Art can serve as the storytelling device.
Problems in Integration
Many of the problems of the arts in its many forms and of their limited impact on our neighborhoods, towns, and cities, have arisen from the tendency to place them — not at the center — but at the periphery of our social ordering (Porter, 1980:13). This situation, at best, creates indifference toward the art and, at worst, creates outright antagonism toward its presence. Many of the established pieces of public art are set in deserted spaces to be viewed suspiciously from a distance by upright citizens and up close only by "...winos and bums who are the principle habitues of these spaces," (Porter, 12).
Incorporating art within the public realm (from both locational and ideological perspectives) requires that planners and designers be sensitive to the needs of the community. This initial sensitivity results in a well-received, well-integrated work of art... or, at least, this thoughtfulness gives the work a fighting chance.
42


As an Economic Development Tool
The idea of incorporating the concepts of the "arts" and of "economic development" as ONE concept came about primarily because of two concurrent events. First, arts administrators commissioned studies to "justify" the existence and funding of the arts from the perspective of the arts as an income-producing/income-generating industry. Then, city planners made the term "economic development" the buzzword of this decade. When the two professional groups came together, they realized that they shared at least one common ideal. Thus, the foundation was set for the subject of "the economics of cultural amenities."
In order to begin to understand the joint subject of the arts and economic development, one needs to look at amenity infrastructure as an element of a human settlement's larger infrastructural network.
One also needs to examine government and business involvement in the arts, and the issue of livability from an economic development perspective.
Amenity Infrastructure
The term "infrastructure" relates to the underlying foundation or basic framework of a system. Typically, when the term is used with regard to human settlements, infrastructure refers to:
...adequate and affordable water and sewer services, streets and sidewalks
43


in good repair, dependable public transportation, functioning solid waster disposal facilities, safe bridges, and decent public buildings .
(McNulty, 1985:108-9)
Amenities, themselves, include the attractive, desirable features of a place — physical, historical, cultural, and social — that contribute to a community's overall quality of life.
"Quality of life" includes a wide range of elements such as health, safety, education, housing, and transportation which, in sum, determine whether a particular community is a generally desirable place to live and to work (McNulty, 30).
Therefore, 'LMsfisuiAAsxiuiJuiAe, is the underlying
support for cultural activities (be they performing or visual arts) that, by its presence, act as a support for an increased quality of life.
But, while few citizens will protest the expenditure of public funds for a sewer, cultural amenity infrastructure has received short shrift in many cities recently as attention has focused on other elements of the capital stock. Some cities have made no new significant investment in their amenity infrastructure since their founding days and other cities view
44


maintenance and rehabilitation as having a low priority on their agendas (McNulty, 109) .
But, astute politicians and administrators alike have begun to recognize the fundamental importance of amenity infrastructure. Hence, we have the development of the profession of "cultural planning": an organized private and public effort to generate and coordinate artistic and cultural activities that enrich a community's quality of life and increase the excitement and enjoyment available there.
Ideally, cultural planning involves integrating the arts, cultural facilities, and cultural events with all aspects of community and economic development as well as with physical planning and design, tourism, and city promotion. Physical planning and design include, most notably, public art.
Government/Business Involvement
The importance—particularly the economic importance—of physical design has come to the fore: Design quality has become an issue for discussion among both the public and private sectors.
City governments are discovering that good design pays off, i.e. investments devoted to making the physical city look better and work better generate an economic return for both the public and private sectors (McNulty, 44).
Public/private partnerships have gained prominence within the field of cultural planning. The public sector
45


supports such projects by levying taxes and floating necessary bonds. The private sector pays those taxes and often supplements its efforts through philanthropic support. Government and business are working more closely together to develop and carry out design/cultural planning decisions and negotiation is becoming an approach commonly used to improve design.
Governmental bodies recognize the variety of incentives that they can offer to support the arts.
City government particularly is becoming more aware of the impact it can have on the quality of design through their actions on their own property holdings and through their influence on other property — specifically as a result of their taxing, spending, and regulatory powers. They are actively using these methods in many positive ways (e.g. by drafting/enforcing design standards, enacting percent for art legislation).
Livability
The Places Rated Almanac rates cities in nine categories, each of which encompasses several factors: climate and terrain, housing, health care and environment, crime, transportation, education, recreation, economics, and tAe, osiAa.
"Livability", however defined, as it affects people' s decisions about where to live, work, visit, and do business, is one factor that contributes to a city's competitive advantage for private investment.
In other words, increasing livability can serve economic development ends
46


Given the importance of the arts with regard to a city's livability rating, cultural amenities should figure importantly in infrastructure policy making. When parks, museums, libraries, performing arts facilities, and public art are allowed to deteriorate or do not keep pace with the population or to changing demands, a city loses much of what makes it attractive. And as these amenities grow even more important for urban development, that loss may be counted in dollars lost to the local economy as well as in declining quality of life.
Caveats
It is worth noting two caveats with regard to utilizing the arts as an economic development tool.
First, whether various cultural elements blend into a desirable quality of life is a function, not of arithmetic, but of local conditions. The "bottom line" of quality of life is how the factors interrelate to create the identity of a place as experienced by the residents. The combination of objective conditions and subjective judgments constitutes a city's livability. The arts, alone, are only one aspect of this entire quality of life picutre.
Secondly, economic impact of the arts studies have been useful from the perspective of institutionalizing the idea of the arts as a positive, incomegenerating industry. However, some of the exact
47


dollar amounts of the worth of the arts to a given community are an inexact science at best and completely misleading at worst. The point of these studies should not be to pinpoint a dollar figure but rather to explain the direct correlation of a cultural infrastructure to a social/economic infrastructure. Enforcing that concept is enough.
48


posit II
Placemaking in Olde Town Arvada
9n asv&esi -to. ^usitJiesi untLesiAstcintL iJitA- 'LAsLue.
UsLa, â– psitxtPic. asit, a ciasLa. AsLutLy, afi. OtAe. tcuun. Asvuaxlct, - - -LncAsAbLnq, con esiAii^asiMesitcol* â– psocipcte, conA. con asvL ptLcon - - -^ottcuuA. .


Introduction to Purpose and Methodology
In William H. Whyte's book, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, the research team concluded that -ftexi^ta. cxxntyve^cute. -isi â– p^GvC&A. wAesve* exon Jxe. uUstA csLhest
■p&xtpZe, — a seemingly rudimentary observation which nevertheless escaped most architects, developers, and public officials at the time.
Successful urban spaces, according to Whyte, were places noted for ample seating near high levels of pedestrian activity. As he wrote in a concluding chapter:
It is wonderfully encouraging that places people like most of all, find least crowded, and most restful are small spaces marked by a high density of people and a very efficient use of space.
(Whyte, 1980:87)
This study was particularly important because it emphasized the network of urban places which, in addition to being socially functional spaces, contribute to one's sense of an area as being a coherent, socially vital community.
Ideally, Olde Town should be and can be a coherent, socially vital community, too. And, for my study, I am focusing on using public art to achieve that end.
Therefore, my study of Olde Town includes an analysis
49


of, not only the entire area, but of two specific area public spaces: Mcllvoy Park and OJ.de Town Square. Using two separate approaches patterned after the works of William Whyte (with regard to how spaces are used) and Kevin Lynch (with regard to how areas are viewed), I was able to collect data that can be used in the subsequent development of an "environmental profile" for the area (i.e. a profile which outlines the social and visual essence •)
Given Olde Town Arvada's rich historical heritage, this section contains a brief history. Included are descriptions of both Mcllvoy Park and Olde Town Square.
This section also contains an explanation of the research methodology and of the findings of the exercise.
- 50


History of Olde Town Arvada
On June 22, 1850, a gold panner named Lewis Ralston of Lumpkin County, Georgia discovered gold ore at the spot where (what came to be known as) Ralston Creek flowed into Vasquez Fork (presently Clear Creek).
Soon after, Ralston, seeing greater riches to be found in California, headed to the West Coast. When he returned to Colorado in 1858 to the creek that now bears his name, he did not stay.
Up on the sandy point where Ralston made his 1850 gold discovery (by now called "Ralston's Point"), a settlement began to grow as the dreams of gold in the valley did not pan out. Ditches that had previously been dug to sluice the gold were now turned into the fields to irrigate the crops. The settlers realized where the true richness lay — in the wealth of the soil.
Early in the 1860's, two miners, Benjamin Wadsworth and Lewis Reno, began making plans for a town. They platted streets and encouraged merchants to move to the area.
During this time, the gold and silver camps were roaring up in the mountains. The railroads were laying tracks in the ore fields. In 1870, the Colorado Central Railroad began its regularly scheduled runs from Denver to Golden. One of its contracts called for mail service but it was a policy of the railroad to deliver mail to
51


an area only when that area had an official name registered in Washington, D.C..
It might have seemed logical that the town carry the name of the original settlement, Ralston's Point or Ralston. However, Mrs. Benjamin (Mary) Wadsworth chose the middle name of her brother-in-law, Hiram Arvada Haskin, and the unincorporated town became "Arvada" on December 1, 1870.
The area of "Olde Town Arvada" corresponds very closely with two very early Arvada plats: the Arvada Subdivision platted in 1870 and the Reno Park Subdivision plated in 1889.
Livery stables, grocery stores, feed companies, and blacksmith shops were among the businesses established to serve Olde Town. Muddy streets, a rising crime rate, and the temperance movement contributed to the desire of the citizenry to incorporate. On July 16, 1904, a successful incorporation vote was held and, on August 16 of. that same year, the Judge of the County Court certified that Arvada was indeed an incorporated town.
In early Arvada, as in most towns and cities, the downtown was bordered by residential and industrial areas. Access to the downtown was primarily by foot or horse. Consequently, the landlocked area into which commercial enterprise could expand was tightly defined.
52


The Era of the World Wars
The year 1915 brought the promise of a more prosperous Olde Town Arvada business community with the prospects of a new tire factory. After several fits and starts, the factory opened in September of that year.
Construction of the tire factory was a lure for the opening and expansion of several small area businesses — including a furniture store and a short-lived movie theatre.
A much heralded addition to Olde Town's business section was the Al Davis Block at the corner of Grandview Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard. This two-story building was completed in 1916 and housed a car dealership and a confectionary store.
When the U.S. Congress declared war against Germany in 1917, the effect of that action was felt by the citizens of Arvada. The Red Cross was popular and the local residents supported a branch of the Denver chapter. Most of the eligible men had joined the fighting overseas and, as was true in other parts of the country, the women stepped into "unofficial" leadership positions in the community.
After the war, the Ku Klux Klan began its rise to power in Colorado. By 1924, its presence was being felt strongly in Olde Town. The presence of the Klan created a negative image for the community; therefore, community leaders felt the need to develop some sort of positive
53


event for the area. Thus the Arvada Harvest Festival, one of Colorado's oldest and largest community celebrations, came into being.
The theme of the first festival was a celebration of the first all-concrete highway between Arvada and Denver. The festival was a huge success and has been held annually ever since.
The community slowly began to grow. The Federal Census of the time showed a population of 1276 on April 1, 1930. Activities of the Klan declined dramatically and the area's public infrastructure became a focus of effort. Water pump meters were installed, streets were tilled and manicured, and the residents began a lawn beautification program.
The '30's was a quiet decade. The two most exciting events were the opening of a new entity called a "supermarket" and the renovation of a nearby bowling alley.
Construction of residential housing was the hallmark of the 1940's. Eight houses were built during that decade and an apartment house was renovated. By 1949, the area's population had grown to 2200.
54


Arvada Now — Olde Town from 1950 Forward
According to the Arvada Planning Department, the size of Olde Town Arvada — from both geographic and density perspectives — was probably adequate to serve the 1950 area population of 2359 people. But, by 1975, Arvada's population increased to 85,000. With this tremendous increase in population, Olde Town did not grow either outward or upward as happened in many other cities. Rather, commercial growth occurred in satellite centers outside of Olde Town.
In the mid-seventies, the condition of Olde Town became an area of concern for both the public and private sectors. The Arvada City Council adopted their 1974/
1975 VasupestA. in part as a result of this
concern. These targets generally had two effects:
1) of establishing community policy and 2) of giving the city administration formal direction as to what programs and projects the Council wished to undertake during a two-year period.
Specifically, the City Council resolved to:
...pursue an active policy toward the development of commercial businesses within the City (particularly as it refers to) the rehabilitation of Olde Town.
City policy dictated that a formal plan or program be prepared. Therefore, the Downtown Turnaround Plan:
55


A Program of Design and Economic Ideas and Opportunities
for Arvada's Central Business District was drafted and adopted by the Council in 1977. The goals statement of this document was divided into three sections: economic goals, transportation/traffic/parking goals, and urban design goals.
While the Downtown Plan was generally well-received by the community, because of lack of financing^ very few of the plan's many recommendations were ever implemented. Given socio-economic changes, the plan is no longer valid.
Therefore, presently Olde Town is in need of an infusion of new design and economic ideas.
Positive Aspects of Present Day Olde Town
While Olde Town has obstacles to overcome, the area has some positive aspects, with regard to this study, that deserve notice.
First of all, while several neighboring suburbs (e.g. Lakewood, Westminster, Wheatridge) have investigated the possibility of developing a "downtown". Olde Town Arvada is_ an established downtown.
And, with that existing town center comes an opportunity to capitalize on the possibility of a related sense of place.
Secondly, Olde Town Arvada also has an established economic development organization (i.e. Forward Arvada) with a membership that is very interested in any
^ Bond issues were defeated on public vote.
56


mechanisms intended to strengthen the area. While most of these mechanisms will fall under the rubric of commercial revitalization initiatives, the arts in general and "excellence in design" in particular, are being emphasized.
Further, with regard to the arts, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is located three miles north of Olde Town. While the Center is experiencing some difficulties, problems of this nature are cyclical and the proximity of an established Arvada arts center could complement a well-designed Olde Town.
Negative Aspects of Present Day Olde Town
For many years, the buildings of Olde Town have been plagued by a high vacancy rate and a concurrently high rate of transience of area merchants. This state of flux has created a negative image for the area.
Concurrently, many of the merchants who have established businesses in Olde Town have chosen the area simply because the rent is so low. This one-dimensional criterion has resulted in a somewhat confusing hodgepodge of tenant mix.
If Olde Town has a perceived theme regarding commercial composition, it is as a center for antique stores. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with such shops, the lack of diversity has not served the area well from social, economic, or visual perspectives.
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Therefore, in essence, Olde Town is not a hopeless cause. But the area needs a tremendous amount of work.
In order to provide more background for this particular study effort, one needs a little background on Olde Town's main public spaces: Mcllvoy Park and Olde Town Square. Thus, brief histories follow.
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Mcllvoy Park
Mcllvoy, Arvada's first community park, officially came into existence on May 12, 1919 when two gentlemen (J.F. White and J.A. Pierce) representing Clemency M. Mcllvoy presented Arvada officials the deed to three acres of property located at Grandview Avenue and Upham Street. Mrs. Mcllvoy specified that the property be used as a public park bearing the family name.
Upon presentation of the deed, officials commissioned S.R. DeBoer, a noted Denver landscape designer, to prepare plans for the grounds. Within two weeks,
DeBoer presented his drawings to the town board. The plans called for two brick posts to be erected at the entrance of the park on the southwest corner of the property. The plans also provided for elaborate landscaping throughout the grounds.
By July of that year, work was begun on erecting
the two brick posts. Articles of historic interest
were places in a metal box; the box was then placed
4
in a crypt in one of the posts.
Because development of the park proceeded at such a slow pace, Mrs. Mcllvoy donated an additional $1,000 in hopes of expediting the process by the infusion of new funds. The park was completed within three months.
The fate of the historic treasue box is a mystery as it was not recovered when the pillars were torn down by the city in the 1950's.
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Olde Town Square
At the. Con^sLuencje. afi. 4stsi&etsi,, thesve, asve. attest suriatsL 4^aa.ceA. udiAcJi -Ahcuotd Ate. (tesuestaped aA, AiandsLcune. and cszstast-f^ut â– incAdentd. An the. Aieasit a,ft. the. cAsty..
A -djnatt ptos^a. can cxmtaAn, An a. siesta,-tiAiesty. caAnad, uMxy,, -Acndpdusie., ^xiuntasLnsL, asist eAcJiAsttAstA., cxx^esA, and. AtencAveA. udiAcJi as,ie. human An Acsate., AntAsnate, and usLesahxte..
A hcuuat ptasgsx t^AneA, a AenAe. csft. pdaee, and heexxmesi, a -jjxzcaA. 'fiasv Astsi, neAs^AAtasiAoad.
Ot can Ate. a suztAyAnq, pdasze, -Iasi, neAs^h-Aasvhoad axistAsuAstA^eA, and esistsdxtdsiJi a fyuatAsty, and cJiasiacstest {an, Astn, AnJiaJtsLt-antA..
(Halprin, 1972:27)
According to the Arvada Planning Department's 1977 Downtown Turnaround Plan, Olde Town was in need of a plaza or square and the best opportunity for such an amenity was the northeast corner of the intersection of West 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth.
This site, at the time of the ratification of the plan, was a City of Arvada parking lot. It was felt that the parking that would be lost by the creation of the square could be reallocated to other areas of the city. Therefore, without further ado, construction was begun on Olde Town Square.
According to the plan, the square could be the "center of Arvada". The city radiates to the north and south along Wadsworth Boulevard and to the east and west along Ralston Road and Grandview Avenue (57th Avenue runs parallel to Ralston and Grandview — in the center of these two arterials). The plan also stated that the square should be the center of events: things such
60


as sculptural exhibits, dance events, concerts, sidewalk musicians, art shows, craft fairs, and celebrations.
In the ten years since completion of the square, this much ballyhoo-ed midtown amenity has stood empty far too often — a sad fact to which the following analyses attest.
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The Environmental Profile


Use of the Park and the Square
While both Mcllvoy Park and Olde Town Square, upon development, were envisioned to be active, "people places", both spaces have met with only limited success with regard to this criterion.
After a quarter-century of residence, I had a fairly accurate sense of how both spaces are used. But in order to take my intuitive knowledge an additional step, I decided to personally observe space usage at set times during each of the four seasons.
Inspired by the Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William Whyte and his study's emphasis on analyzing the use of public places, I set out to analyze both Mcllvoy Park and Olde Town Square. It is important to note that my approach to these observations was extremely abbreviated in comparison with Whyte's methodology. However, data I culled from my brief visits combined with my knowledge of the area more than sufficed for the purposes of this report.
Four observation dates were selected for each site: one weekday and one weekend day in January, April, July and October. I spent 45 minutes at each site at three different intervals on each day; this schedule included a morning, a lunchtime, and a late afternoon/early evening time slot.
The following tables outline my findings.
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Mcllvoy Park ue&Ae-tidL Olde Town Sq.
8:00 a.m. 4 young children were standing along the tennis court fence waiting for the school to open - 0 - 9:00 a.m. 3 people were waiting at the southern bus-stop - 0 -
11:30 a.m. 20 kids were playing at various parts of the park; also, two adults walked thru the park eastbound one adult walked through the park westbound 12:30 p.m. 2 people were waiting at the western busstop; one adult walked diagonally thru the plaza 2 people sat on the interior wall just talking for 20 minutes
4:00 p.m. 5 kids were kicking a ball around in the middle of the grass - 0 - 5:00 p.m. 3 people were waiting at the southern bus-stop - 0 -

JANUARY


Mcllvoy Park me-eJutay. iue^Jte-rul Olde Town Sq. ute^Ae^ul
8:00 a.m. 12 kids were hanging out in the park waiting for the start of school; two teens walked through the park westbd. - 0 - 9:00 a.m. 4 people were waiting for a bus at the southern stop - 0 -
11:30 a.m. 4 adults (office workers?) were having a picnic at the tables 35 people were having a picnic on the eastern edge of the . park 12:30 p.m. 2 people were picnicking in the center; 2 people were wait-ing at the western busstop 4 adults walked through the plaza to their cars; 2 people stood in the plaza and talked for 10 minutes
4:00 p.m. 40 little soccer players were practicing - 0 - 5:00 p.m. 7 people were waiting at the western busstop - 0 -

APRIL


Mcllvoy Park ute-eJkda^. ute^eMesid. Olde Town Sq. tuenAesui
8:00 a.m. - 0 - 8 people were waiting at the west curb apparently as a group waiting for a ride 9:00 a.m. 4 people were waiting at the southern busstop — I RECOGNIZE themI 32 people are standing in the plaza seemingly organizing rides to another location
11:30 a.m. 2 adults were having lunch at the picnic tables; 4 kids walked thru en route to 'i-Eleven - 0 - 12:30 p.m. 4 adults were sitting on the grassy slopes eating lunch 4 kids are riding skateboards in the plaza
4:00 p.m. - 0 - - 0 - 5:00 p.m. - 0 - 2 of the 4 kids from lunchtime are still riding their skateboards

JULY


Mcllvoy Park Olde Town Sq. m^eJkdccy. ul
8:00 a.m. 5 kids are hanging out along the fence, talking and waiting for school to open - 0 - 9:00 a.m. 7 people are waiting at the busstop; 4 adults walked through the plaza 4 women are sitting at the busstop but they take none of the busses that come along
11:30 a.m. 100 or so kids are in the park playing various field games; I see no adults - 0 - 12:30 p.m. 12 people are just hanging out on the grass and on the benches the skateboarders are back — 4 boys are practicing in the plaza; I can't tell if they are the same kids
4:00 p.m. 42 little football players are practicing; 25 adults are watching the practice from the sidewalk - 0 - 5:00 p.m. - 0 - - 0 -

OCTOBER


Summary of Findings
From my previous knowledge of these spaces and from my observations, it becomes apparent that both Mcllvoy Park and Olde Town Square are the antithesis of active people-places. There is very little to draw people to either space; at best, both locations seem to be stopover points to bigger and better things.
With regard to Mcllvoy Park, it:
o is used most frequently by students from a school located across the street;
o contains no real seating — except for that at picnic tables located at the edge of the park;
o is empty on the weekends;
o is used as a route for locations both east and west; and, now that the Cornerstone development is open for business, the park is used for travels north (see photo).
With regard to Olde Town Square, it:
o is used primarily by people waiting for a bus;
o area seating is seldom used; the seating is both uninviting and uncomfortable;
o the cement plaza is used primarily by young children, mostly on skateboards;
o serves as an area to walk "around" rather than through.
Both areas experience little weekend activity (when school is out and commuters are less apt to use busses). Both spaces fail as well-used public places.
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How Olde Town Is Viewed
In an effort to get a sense of how Olde Town is viewed by both residents and non-residents of the area, I formulated a brief questionnaire (see Appendix A). This instrument was then administered — verbally, face-to-face — to 30 individuals.
The Respondents
The respondents to this part of the study were selected at three different, high traffic Olde Town intersections along the main north-south street of Wadsworth (i.e. at Ralston, West 57th, and Grandview). Individuals were selected on the basis of a general profile I had developed. The profile was an attempt to get a cross-section of a population from the perspectives of age and sex. It was not an attempt, however, to gather a statistically representative sample (i.e. on representative in relation to the demographics of either Olde Town or of Arvada as a whole).
Therefore, respondents to this survey included:
15 males
15 females
ages 15-30 2 resident/3 non-resident 2 resident/3 non-resident
31-50 3 resident/2 non-resident 3 resident/2 non-resident
51-over 3 resident/2 non-resident 3 resident/2 non-resident
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The Questionnaire
The questionnaire was adapted from the pioneering work of Kevin Lynch which he outlined in the Image of the City. For my study, the questionnaire first asked the respondents to draw to quick sketch maps: one indicating important features of the area and another indicating one or two imaginary trips around the area.
I wanted to ascertain, from these maps, what features the respondents remembered without any prompting on my part.
Lynch stated that he found "a listing of distinctive features" ofter indicated which elements of an area have had the most impact on a given individual -- much more so than a sketch map. Therefore, I next asked the respondents to list distinctive parts of the area — in order to see which elements may or may not be indicated on their maps.
Respondents were then asked to indicate where 26 different Olde Town elements are located (on a non-labelled map -- see Appendix b. ) • This gave me a greater sense of the respondents' familiarity with the area.
Finally, I asked the respondents to tell me what they'd like to see in Olde Town.
From this information^ I hoped to cull the viewed structure of Olde Town, the paths, nodes, districts, edges, and landmarks which, because of their familiarity
5 Again, my familiarity with the area played a key role
in this process.
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and distinctiveness, are recalled when people attempt to visualize the area.
It should be noted that these interviews took place outside in Olde Town at the locations at which the respondents were stopped. Therefore, the folks could just "look around" for visual clues, for answers to the questions. Surprisingly, they did not.
Results to the questionnaire follow.
Sketch Maps Identifying Important Features
Of the 30 sketch maps, 28 showed great similarity (the two that did not were drawn by the youngest nonresidents) . The similar elements included Mcllvoy Park, Olde Town Square, First National Bank, the Olde Town Water Tower, and the intersections of Olde Wadsworth/ Ralston and Wadsworth/Grandview. The formal names for these sites were seldom known, however; more often respondents just indicated "the bank" or "the park" on their maps.
In a comparison of the maps, discrepancies arose between two main groups: residents v. non-residents and over-50 v. under-50.
Not surprisingly, residents tended to identify elements which were close to their homes (e.g. nearby busstops, mailboxes) while non-residents identified commuter features such as parking lots and streets.
Respondents over age 50 tended to identify features
70


that had some historical significance. Comments while drawing such as "this building housed the first cobbler" or "this corner was the site of the area's first car dealership" were frequent.
Interestingly, several individuals (n=10) asked if the Arvada Urban Renewal area to the south of Olde Town should be included in the analysis (N.B. technically, it should not). In fact, most people were vague as to the exact boundaries of Olde Town. This is not surprising; city officials are vague as well.
For purposes of this study, Olde Town is that which is indicated on the map (see Appendix B).
Sketch Maps Identifying Imaginary Trips
Of the 30 sketch maps of "imaginary trips", 28 indicated that Wadsworth and Grandview would be the two best paths on which to take such trips. Only 2 teenagers thought of taking off-the-beaten-path trips. Events along these routes centered around shopping (not surprisingly given the commercial nature of the area) or a stop at Olde Town Square.
Interestingly, the respondents, including all of the resident respondents, completely ignored the area's several side streets, the two other east-west collectors (i.e. West 57th and Ralston), and any course to Mcllvoy Park. While sketching, respondents mentioned Olde Town's antique stores —
71


almost without exception — indicating that the stores served the function of a quasi-museum. These stores are located along Grandview and Wadsworth.
Distinctive Features
When asked to list the area's distinctive features, responses were fairly uniform and generally positive. They included:
Feature
Historic structures
Antique stores
Olde Town Square
Mcllvoy Park
Tennis Courts @ Mcllvoy
View from Grandview
(**particularly on July 4th)
Cornerstone
Old trees (mostly elms)
Empty storefronts Fast food restaurants
#/responses
22
21
21
20
14
13
10
9
9(6)
8
Again, respondents did not necessarily know the formal names of these features.
Where Is ________Located?
As was true for Lynch, the Olde Town Arvada respondents appeared more knowledgeable about the area when they were asked direct questions as opposed to being asked to initiate the dialogue.
6
This was one of the few negative responses.
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The following is a ranked list of their responses.
The over-50 group was most familiar with the area.
Resident were more well-versed on exact locations of sites/
features than were the non-residents:
Sites/Features # familiar over-50 all others
1. Mcllvoy Park 30 10 20
2. Olde Town Square 30 10 20
3. Wadsworth Blvd. 30 10 20
4. Ralston Road 30 10 20
5. Grandview Ave. 30 10 20
6. Wadsworth By-Pass 29 10 19
7. Arby's 28 9 19
8. Water Tower 27 10 17
9. Taco Bell 27 9 18
10. West 57th 27 10 17
11. Cornerstone 17 8 9
12. Residential District 17 10 7
13. 1st National Bank 17 10 7
14. Railroad Tracks 17 10 7
15. Telephone Building 14 8 6
16. Upham Street 14 8 6
17. Festival Playhouse 12 8 4
18. Webster Street 12 8 4
19. Yukon Street 11 8 3
20. Chamber of Commerce 10 7 3
21. Flour_ Mill 10 8 2
22. St. Anne's Church 9 8 1
23. Davis Block 8 7 1
24. Info Kiosk 7 5 2
25. Arvada Motel 4 3 1
26. Masonic Lodge As indicated, less than 2 half of the 2 0 respondents knew
the location/name of the area side streets (e.g. Upham, Webster). Area fast food restaurants ranked highly on locational identification. And the Water Tower, the main landmark and sole piece of public art, was identified by 27 of the 30 respondents; however, until the tower was mentioned, no one had mentioned it as a feature of the town.
73


V L
MAP OF SITES/FEATURES
OLDE TOWN ARVADA
key to features:
a. Chamber of Commerce
b. First National Bank
c. Mcllvoy Park
d. Olde Town Square
e. Arby1s
f. St Anne's Church
g. Arvada Motel
h. Masonic Lodge
i. Olde Town Water Tower
j. Telephone Company Building
k. Taco Bell
l. Cornerstone
m. Festival Playhouse
n. Flour Mill
o. Davis Block
p. Infomation Kiosk
q. Olde Town Residential Area
r. Wadsworth Blvd.
s. Ralston Road
t. Yukon Street
u. Webster Street
v. Upham Street
w. Grandview Avenue
x. West 58th Avenue
y. Wadsworth By-Pass
z. Railroad Tracks
L, ••
'2
50*
i
â–¡
] â–¡â–¡â–¡
r::~:)
â–¡
â–¡ â–¡
â–¡ k
n
D
â–¡
Cornerstone (under construction)
\


What Would the Respondents Like to See in Olde Town?
Perhaps spurred by the lack of seating at the locations where I conducted these interviews, 24 of the 30 respondents would like to see more seating throughout Olde Town. Several (14) expressed the
desire for benches in Mcllvoy Park.
Other responses included:
a stable business climate 14
better exterior/street lighting 11
more trees 9
area signage 8
more parking 8
facade treatments 6
bus shelters 5
a "park" (!) 2
a restaurant 1
Interestingly, there is seating throughout Olde Town but much of it is easy to overlook — either because it is non-descript or it looks uncomfortable. There is also "area signage" — Ijcui A'te, Ncuu ZsvtesisLnq. O^tde, 7QMut signage. But it fades into the backdrop of the area buildings.
75


Overlays
In order to add another level of analysis to this environmental profile, I compiled some of the more striking data from the preceding profiles onto overlays.
Explanation of Overlays
The following two overlays represent four categories of data:
1) use of public spaces as per my observation;
2) how Olde Town is viewed as per the interviews;
3) ideal use of the area; and,
4) ideal visual impact of the area.
With regard to "use of public spaces" as per my observation, limited areas of both the park and the square are actually used. However, ideally, these public spaces should be used in their entirety.
The respondents to the questionnaire viewed the park, the square, the view and the historic structures of Grandview, the trees of Grant Place, and Cornerstone as being "distinctive visual features". Upon analysis, I would add entries/exits to Olde Town, the bakery/market wall, the "non-tree-d" portion of Grant Place, and the alleyway between West 57th and Grandview as distinctive visual elements.
Further explanation of the (limited) "^significance of these overlays are found in the following "Art Plan."
7
I leave it to the reader to decide if the overlays are a helpful method of analysis. For my purposes, this is a step that could have been omitted.
Intuition and memory were more helpful in my analysis than were graphics of the overlay nature.
76


The Art Plan


Development of an Art Plan for Olde Town
As previously mentioned, the development of the art
plan for Olde Town would be the result of information culled from various sources. In order of importance, these sources include:
1) my knowledge of the area
2) responses to the survey/questionnaire
3) data from the "use" analysis, and
4) any other significant data that can be
culled from the overlays.
The A-tA, Ptasi p^v (!)£&&. Vomti consists of ten "profiles." Each profile lists a "placemaker opportunity", its relative priority with regard to a completion schedule, its location, the need/justification for such a placemakers, and artistic and performance criteria which should be considered during the design phase of each placemaker. Where applicable, examples of placemakers in other parts of the country follow the profile; these examples could be used as inspiration for the design of the Olde Town placemaker.
If this plan were to be executed, the next step (after development of the plan) would be to present these profiles to competent designers. These designers would, in turn, present their designs for the placemakers to the "sponsoring organization" (i.e. either the city planning department or a private arts commission).
Additional information regarding implementation of this plan can be found in a following section.
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In order of priority, this art plan includes profiles
for:
1) an alleyway
2) main exits from/entires to Olde Town
3) park sculpture
4) art-in-the-square
5) area signage/map
6) area lighting
7) exterior walls of the bakery and market
8) bus shelters
9) Grant Place, and
10) Grandview Avenue.
The profiles follow.
79


Placemaker Opportunity: Alleyway
Priority # 1
Location: alley located perpendicular to Wadsworth Boulevard between W. 57th and Grandview
Need/Justification: alley could serve
as an outdoor museum highlight ing artifacts and text that would focus attention on Olde Town's rich historical heritage; alley would be a complement to the area's antique stores
Artistic and Performance Criteria:
o all surfaces of the alleyway should be visually and tactilely interesting; surfaces include the pavement (which is now cement) and any overhead covering
o ideally, lighting from the alleyway should not only
highlight the "artifacts" The Alleyway**
but should draw attention
to the Olde Town Festival
Playhouse which is located
on Wadsworth across from
the alley
o the alley must remain technically suitable for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in order to service the business entrances that front the alley
o from a larger urban design perspective, the alley should also facilitate movement to Mcllvoy Park — perhaps being linked with Olde Town parking lots and Grant Place; this "larger perspective" is particularly important given that the alley terminates on its eastern end at Webster Street --a street that is underutilized by pedestrians currently
** Photo taken from Wadsworth Blvd., looking east.
an


Example
Chelsea Walk
(photos from Fleming)
81


The Chelsea Walk in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was formerly a fenced-off, refuse-laden empty alleyway. It is now a brick footpath linking Chelsea's main street with a new parking lot.
The "memory wall" along one side of this walk consists of porcelain panels portraying the history and changing conditions of Chelsea.
Chelsea Walk was an abandoned alley before renovation.
Memory Wall photo panels.
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PROFILE
Placemaker Opportunity:' Main Exits from/Entries to Olde Town
Priority # 2
Locations: intersections of Wadsworth Blvd. and Grandview;
Wadsworth Blvd. and Ralston
Need/Justification: the boundaries of Olde Town are unknown
to most of the people who live or visit the area
Artistic and Performance Criteria:
o given that Olde Town is located on a hill, this placemaker opportunity should be designed so that it is visible not only when one is passing through Olde Town but, also, when one is passing in the general vicinity
o this placemaker should be visible at night
o this placemaker could enhance the historical nature of the area
o residents/visitors should know — via their visual senses — that they are leaving/entering Olde Town; this placemaker opportunity could also incorporate a design feature that would appeal to the auditory senses
o this placemaker should not interfere with the flow of vehicular/pedestrian traffic
The intersection of Ralston and Wadsworth Blvd./ looking north


Intersection of Grandview and Wadsworth Blvd./ looking south
EXAMPLES:
City entrances to Flint ("Vehicle City"), Michigan
Old Entry (this "gate" was moved to an overpass as per the picture below)
New Bridge
(with metal-sculpture cars — visible from both the overpass and the highway below)
(photos from the sculptor, George Greenmayer)
- 84 -


Full Text

PAGE 1

• VIa public art

PAGE 2

PLACEMAKING VIA PUBLIC ART by Mary Frances De Rose A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the School of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture in Urban Design post-professional program 1987

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This thesis for the Master of Architecture in Urban Design post-professional program degree by Mary Frances De Rose has been approved for the Urban Design/Architecture Program School of Architecture and Planning ... . ----Gail Whitney Karn, Advisor IZ/t7 8 7Hamid Shirvani, Dean Date 17 December 1987 -------------------------------------

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"The identity, order, and beauty we bring to our environment are returned to us by giving us a sense of identity. We shape our environmen to paraphrase Winston Churchill, and then our environment shapes us." "I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. After all, what is reality anyway? Nothin' but a collective hunch."

PAGE 5

PLACEMAKING via Public Art ------------------------------11 ecv.Le. 1-Q/1. 1auut Table of Contents Prologue History of this Project .•.............•.•..•.... I Structure of this Report .•....•........•........ VII p a/1/t (j n,e, Placemaking & Public Art A Brief History of Public Art •..••.•.••......... 1 Arner ica and Public Art. . • . . • • . . . . . • • . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 National Endowment for the Arts .........••...... 9 Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities ..... 13 City of Denver Municipal Collection ............. 16 Public Art in Olde Town Arvada .................. 20 What are Placemakers? ••.•......•...•............ 25 Justification for the Incorporation of Placemaking Public Art .•...........•.•....•.. 35 o as aesthetic enhancement ...•........... 36 o as a community catalyst •............... 40 o as an economic development tool ........ 43 pcvz;t 1ma Placemaking in Olde Town Arvada Introduction to Purpose and Methodology ......•.. 49 History of Olde Town ••••............•.........•. 51 Mcilvoy Park ....... .., ........................... 59 Olde Town Square. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 6 0 Use of the Park and Square. . . . . . . . • . . . . . • . . . • . . . 6 2 How Olde Town is Viewed •.•........•....•....•... 68 Over 1 a y s • . • •.•• c. ••••• " • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 7 6 Development of an Art Plan for Olde Town •••..... 78 Profiles...................................... 80 The Process of Prioritizing..................... 99 Suggestions for Implementation of the Art Plan •. lOO Efficacy of the Methodology of this Study ....... l04 General Issue of Placemaking-A Conclusion ..... l07 Appendices Bibliography

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PROLOGUE 1/u.4 -l4 alw.t.e.4 a/-cvz-t -tlze_ (UVLa/--iAt wz1uut a/--tlze_ 4 .ta. cut cvze.a. cA4 ''&-lde-1a.mn-''.

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History of this Project Arvada, a city with a population of 93,000 and a "city manager/council" form of government, is located eight miles northwest of the core of Denver. With its suburban housing developments and shopping malls, there is very little that distinguishes Arvada from Denver's other peripheral cities. However, Arvada does have a very special asset: a small business district with turn-of-thecentury architecture, a winding mainstreet, and a rich community history. This district is referred to as "Olde Town Arvada. 11 After residing in Olde Town for 25 years, I began to look toward an imminent move from the area in October of 1986. During the transitional period from October to my April 1987 move, I was able to begin analyzing Olde Town from the perspective of an outsider --a vantage point that gave me some objectivity. This objectivity complemented the knowledge I had garnered from my quartercentury residency. From this new perspective, several problems (e.g. a declining revenue base, a high vacancy rate) and opportunities (e.g. the aforementioned established downtown business district, a well-organized Olde Town business community, historically significant architecture) became apparent. -I -

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In an effort to address some of these problems and opportunities within the context of the University's requirements for the urban design program and from the perspective of my own interests, I began to formulate l an updated urban design plan for the area. My plan would revolve around the theme of the "economics of cultural amenities." While initially researching this amenity/economic development tool, I met the Director of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. He mentioned that the Center had preliminarily investigated the possibility of organizing an "artist coop" (one patterned after the Boulder Coop)*which would be located in a vacant Olde Town storefront. That coop could be, according to the Center Director, the cornerstone of an area urban design/ economic plan. The presence of other infrastructure" in the area lent credence to the concept of a "cultural amenities economy" for Olde Town. In February of 1987, Olde Town's mainstreet (Wadsworth Boulevard) boasted the existence of the Festival Playhouse ( a small community performing arts facility), a commercial photographer, a soon-to-open craft/fine arts retail gallery, and, depending upon one's definition of culture, " ... a plethora of some of the metropolitan area's finest antique stores." l * The most recent Olde Town urban design plan had been completed in the mid-70's; see the bibliography of this report for more information. (see Appendix C)

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A summer arts festival was in the planning stages. And the Arvada Center was less than three miles north of the area. Olde Town also had an in situ economic development organization comprised of members who were open to the idea of an area arts economy. In an effort to involve any interested parties in this project from the outset while being aware that the success of any project depends to a large degree on the depth and breadth of support for it, I began to preliminarily gather endorsements from the community. Interested parties included the Arvada Planning Department, the City Council, the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority, the Chamber of Commerce, local property owners (both residential-and commercial), real estate developers, the state arts council, area merchants, and area visual artists. I then applied to the National Endowment for the Arts for project support. At this point, I had six months to complete my investigative studies. As part of project preparation, I read the related literature (a list of which is included in the bibligraphy of this report) regarding the arts and city planning, amenity infrastructure, quality of life zoning incentives, and places as art. Perhaps most importantly, I also watched the progress of Olde Town's economic and cultural scenes. -III -

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By July of 1987, it became apparent that the "economics of cultural amenities" concept would simply not work in Olde Town. I based this conclusion on several factors: 1) the retail art gallery, which had opened to such promise less than six months before, had closed; 2) the summer arts festival, which was held in Olde Town Square in mid-July, had been very poorly received by the metropolitan arts community (the "arts activities," to quote one attendee, "were too amateurish in nature. The artists were not paid. The organizers treated 'the arts' with the same regard one would use to address a McDonald's franchise."); 3) the Arvada Center, once a nationally-respected facility, fell on hard administrative-and financial-times --a fact that was noted by both the artistic and philanthropic communities; this "fall into disrepute" lessened support for any sort of other cultural facility in the area. Concurrently, I realized that, while the public and private sector political consensus existed with regard to my proposal, the indigenous talent that was necessary -IV -

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to maintain a project of this nature on more than a temporary basis did not exist. Given other responsibilities, I could not commit myself to this project on any long-term basis. I immediately contacted the NEA and rescinded my grant proposal. Perhaps most importantly, it became apparent that the problems in Olde Town, both economic-and design-related, were much more extensive than were initially I apparent. It was unrealistic to believe that a masters-level project could effectively address problems of such magni-tude. I, therefore, sought funding from Williams-MacLaughlin, a foundation that gives grants for purely academic projects (i.e. projects which may or may not have direct, "real life" applicability). Funding was granted in September of 1987. Placemaking in Urban Design Soon after reaching the decision to rescind the NEA grant proposal, several factors were brought to my attention: 1) the "architectural integrity" of Olde Town's neighboring Arvada Urban Renewal Authority area became a topic of heated discussion among the city's political and business sectors indicating a newly-developed interest in the topic of a "sense of place"; -v -

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2) neighboring suburbs publicly began to lament the fact that they don't have "well-established downtowns" --areas that would bring a much needed "sense of place" to their collective suburban sprawl; 3) columnist Woody Paige of the wrote a disparaging column which indicated that " •.• Arvada is a myth •.. the city that does not exist," (i.e. a city with no discernible identity. Meanwhile, I had become interested in the topic of "public art" --specifically from the perspective of "placemaking" via public art. Olde Town could benefit from a plan that would strengthen its 'sense of place.' And, while it is very apparent that public art would be only a small part of a much-needed updated urban design and economic development plan, the study would be of interest to me regardless of its implementation. Given Olde Town's limited size, well-documented history and extensive public space, it is a suitable laboratory for short term academic study. Therefore, this paper will address "placemaking via public art with a case study of Olde Town." -VI -

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Structure of this Report This paper is divided into two main parts. Part I outlines the general topics of public a r t and placemaking. First, there is a brief overview of public art from both an historical perspective and from established programmatic perspectives (i.e. public sector/public art initiatives). "Placemakers" are then defined as a subcategory of public art --as a response to the all-too-prevalent sense of placelessness. The incorporation of placemakers is justified from three main platforms: 1) as aesthetic enhancement, 2) as a community catalyst, and, 3) as an economic development tool. Part II of this report focuses on development of an "art plan" for Olde Town Arvada. The first chapter defines the purpose of and methodological approach with regard to the aforementioned plan. I develop an "Environmental Profile" of Olde Town using methodology patterned after the pioneering works of William Whyte and Kevin Lynch. The data from this profile are visually represented on overlays. From this data, an "Art Plan" (i.e. an explanation of placemaker opportunities and a prescription for their development) is included. Finally, this report outlines conclusions regarding the general issue of placemaking, the efficacy of the applied methodology of this report, and recommendations for possible implementation of this plan for Olde Town. -VII -

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I Placernaking & Public Art

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF PUBLIC ART The history of public art dates back to the beginning of humankind. The triumph of human civilization over nature's sometimes harsh wilderness led to the development of cave wall paintings. This pictorial record indicated that humans had begun to master the skills needed to exercise some control over their collective destiny. This pictorial record also indicates that the publicart-of-the-time was also meant to serve religion; therefore, perhaps even in prehistoric times, professional artists were commissioned and their work supported by priests and chieftains (Von Eckhardt, 1982:23). In the distant millennia of Mesopotamiam, Babylonian, and Egyptian civilizations, church and state were the same; the creation of public art in the form of embellishment was an integral part of the state religion (Von Eckhardt, 24). This intermingling gave the arts a strong support base but it also limited the "content" of art in the public arena (i.e. art could not oppose the religious/ state ideology) . Art of this time was also often indistinguishable from the architecture itself --places were art, places were the most type of art. The formal concept of public/private cooperation was unknown for the next millenia. The Acropolis, St. Peter's, and Chartres were not built by private enterprise. Great art and architecture was the raison d'etre of government. Most great music, drama, sculpture, and painting were -1 -

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created under state patronage. During the height of the Roman Empire, elaborate theatres and arnphitheatres were built throughout the conquested land. These facilities housed not only performing arts activities. They also served as museums for some of the finest statuary of the time, an institutionalized beauty that was, in the words of Arnold Hauser, author of the Sa.c.A..cvt.. alll/1/L, " meant to distract the people of the Empire from the cultural decadence that was all too much a hallmark of that era." For about a thousand years after the fall of Rome, culture was practically synonymous in Western Civilization with Christianity. Architecture and the decorative arts existed only in the service of the Church. By the end of the Middle Ages, the purpose of art and architecture broadened in scope. These public arts existed to " ..• enhance the dignity of (the state's) citizenship, their professions, and their humanity," (Von Eckhardt, 28) • With the corning of the Renaissance, a burst of artistic genius coincided with a burst of personal wealth and power. It was the ideology of the time that the greatness of a ruler was measured by the greatness of the culture he secured for his people. The concept of art was totally intertwined with the -2 -

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power bases of the day. This intermingling, again, ensured the survival of the arts --particularly those in the public arena. But, as was true during the time of religious intermingling, the subject matter of public art often became a limited political statement. Moreover, the Renaissance period placed emphasis on the philosophy of Whereas during the Middle Ages, most men and women thought of themselves as parts of a whole rather than as individuals, humanism celebrated the importance of the individual. People began to take pride in their own accomplishments and judged others on the basis of ''merit" rather than of "birth." Much of that celebration of the individual manifested itself in great art. The Renaissance in art and architecture was followed by several styles. But the awareness that history gauges the greatness of a ruler by the greatness of the culture secured for the ruled became imbedded in people's minds. All over Europe, princes vied with one another by comparing the splendor of their cities and courts, galleries and gardens. This "court culture" survived the Reformation and the Thirty Years War. It reached its peak in the I ceremony and bedazzlement that was the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette at Versailles. Paris, the Beaux Arts city with its beautiful boulevards, palaces, and squares became the art/architectural inspiration -3 -

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for the rest of the world. This "City of Lights" is still considered to be the ideal by which other cities are judged with regard to art and culture. America and Public Art According to Thomas Jefferson, culture was not confined to museums and concert halls. It included the way people lived --on their streets, in their public squares and marketplaces, and along the roads as well as inside the homes, (Beardsley,. 1980:42) For Jefferson, cultivation of the instinct of beauty was a primary concern not only of the moralist but of the statesman. This was especially so under a form of government which made no place for the "tutelage of an Art had an appropriate place in the public sector; in fact, government had an obligation to its citizenry to encourage art in its many forms, particularly art in the public arena. Government was a _formal patron of the public arts from the day late in 1792 when the commissioners o f the District of Columbia announced a competition for the design of the United States capitol. But this kind of patronage engaged the arts primarily to express grandeur and dignity in government buildings and monuments, inherently at the grandest of scales. But this monumentality did not address the needs of the common man, the group for whom Jefferson had voiced such affection. -4 -

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Before the industrial age, it was evident that humanity --human settlements, community, and individuality --was part of nature. Nature supplied the sense of place and, often, supplied an arena for artistic expression as well. The notion of monumental works as being the sole focus of public patronage missed the vast reservoir of opportunities for cultural/artistic expression offered much closer (both geographically and spiritually) to home. A century later, the World's Columbian Exposition obserwed, the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. It was held in Chicago in 1893, a year later than originally planned. Canals and lagoons laced the grounds which covered 666 acres (Sandler, 1973: 47). The main buildings, which contained exhibitions of the wonders of the time, were finished in plaster and fiber: theyshone like white marble in the sunlight. At the fair, sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens remarked to Daniel Burnham, architect and the fair's chief of construction: "Look here, old fellow, do you realize that this is the greatest meeting of artists and architects since the 15th Century?" With the Exposition --its beautiful exhibitions and meeting-of-the-minds atmosphere --came the City Beautiful Movement. Artist/architect collaborations gained a stronghold in America. -5 -

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Early in this century, the City Beautiful Movement reached its crest. Two-thousand municipal improvement societies existed around the country. Consultants were engaged to produce the usual package of park, boulevard, and civic center proposals. Individual architects put forth schemes for groups of monumental buildings, r iverfront drives, parks, and playgrounds; invariably, the proposals involved the incorporation of public art. Government now had the opportunity to be involved in culture on a more local scale. But, while the Movement left many cities more beautiful, much of the so-called improvement was "promotional ballyhoo" according to critics Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs. They denigrated the Movement as "inhuman and baroque" leaving the country with only "one heavy, grandiose monument after another, like frosted pastries on a tray." It was not until FDR1s New Deal of the l9301s that both the amount and the concept of government patronage were significantly expanded. Even then, the primary aim of the federal arts programs which fell under the administrative arm of the Work Projects Adminstration (WPA) was to help hungry and jobless artists during the Great Depression. It was almost incidental that the general public also benefitted from the programs works of public art --works such as post office murals and statuary. The WPA stimulated a burst of creativity that still -6 -

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sustains American culture. The effect of the WPA art programs was threefold, explains Constance McLaughlin Green in the Rise of Urban America: People with special talents unsuited to ditch digging were able to survive with dignity, the creative arts won an officially recognized place in American life, and, as much of the art was of such a public nature, the man in the street found enjoyment in things that had long seemed out of his reach. Art was officially in the public realm, most notably as a part of our public spaces. The Depression was followed by and there was no longer any need for work projects. Nor was Congress comfortable with what seemed like the mixing of art and politics. Congress questioned, "Was not art, like religion, something that government should stay strictly out of? Could government be trusted not to stifle the arts with censorship or pervert them for propaganda?" Hitler's Mussolini, and Stalin's support of the arts was much in people's minds. Constitutional doubts about a legitimate public interest in public beauty and public art were eased -7 -

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in 1954 by the Supreme Court in Berman v. Parker. The Court held that it is within the power of the legislature to determine that the community " •.. shall be beautiful as well as clean, well-balanced as well as carefully patrolled." In 1963, President Kennedy laid the foundation for the flourishing of the arts in general and of public art in particular. He declared, " ... I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of its citizens." Two years after that speech, Congress established the National Endowment for the Arts which included, among other disciplines; a formal funding category for "Art in Public Places." The following sections outline public art initiatives of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Colorado Counci l on the Arts and Humanities, the City of Denver, and Olde Town Arvada. -8 -

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National Endowment for the Arts Preamble to NEA's Statement of Mission With the creation of the NEA in 1965 came the tangible realization that government should (again) be a formal patron of the arts. The NEA funds the range of arts activities --from dance to theatre, museum programs to folk arts, design to visual arts. Given the focus of this paper, the following is a synopsis of public art-related programs at the NEA --specifically, the "art in public places" program within the Endowment's visual arts division and the recent Design Arts/Visual Arts initiative which attempted to encourage artist/architect collabora-tions. Art in Public Places Program and Related Initiatives In the 22 years since its inception, the "art in -9 -

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public places" program has emerged as one of the most visible and controversial of the NEA's activities. It is not exclusively or primarily issues of quality that generate this controversy, although that certainly plays a part. It arises more commonly from the high visibility of artworks in the public realm. While "indoor isprotected to a greater degree, "outdoor art" is more vulnerable to ridicule. Because the forms of art have evolved and diversified so dramatically in the last several decades, there is a disparity between contemporary artistic practice and public expectation of just "what art should look like." Traditionally, public art works have been commemorative of great events or people or illustrative of common sociopolitical goals. But, although society has always been --to one degree or another --pluralistic, that pluralism is now frequently represented in art. Therefore, traditional approaches to art no longer are the norm. This change has led to the need to explore the applicability of the various forms of contemporary art to the range of contemporary public contexts. And it is the NEA Art in Public Places program that has served as the arena for this experimentation. Through the Art in Public Places Program, the NEA supports community-initiated projects. The Endow-10 -

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ment does not solicit grant application nor does it demand that applicant purchase or commission a particular type of art. Diversity and self-initiative are key. The Guidelines According to the guidelines for the year 1988, past art in public places grants have supported "innovative projects for spaces previously unexplored as sites for artworks, both interior and exterior, and have encouraged an increasing number of younger visual artists." Furthermore, "applicants are encouraged to consider imaginative approaches to possible sites; these sites include rivers, waterfronts, parks, recreation facilities, airports, subways, roadsides, and public buildings." The Endowment will support projects on privatelyowned land if the proposed area is one "to which the public has free access (e.g. a housing development or a university campus)." Artist/Architect Collaborations The most successful public art projects have been those involving the artist with the architect in the initial planning and design stages. Sometimes, however, a given public art project would require that the sponsoring organization apply to both the Visual Arts program and to the Design Arts program. Each -11 -

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grant application was presented to separate juries, often resulting in only partial funding. Therefore in an effort to both encourage projects that would, from inception, team artists with architects and to avoid the "partial funding" problem, the NEA developed a special Design Arts/Visual Arts funding category. While it will be a while before the "success" of the DAVA initiative can be fully measured, preliminary results indicate that the initiative has been a success from the perspectives of: o encouraging initial and ongoing collaborations; and, o creating more livable environments. In addition to these federal-level programs, there are public art initiatives at the and local levels as well. The following sections address these programs for the .State of Colorado, for Denver, and for Arvada. -12 -

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Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities The Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities (CCAH), the state's arts council, has had an "art in public places" program since 1977. According to a CCAH informational brochure, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Art in Public Places Act in '77 which required that one percent of the construction costs of new or renovated state-owned buildings be spent to acquire artwork for permanent display at the project site. Implementation of the law is the responsibility of CCAH. Over the last ten years, the law has been amended to strengthen the program and expedite the administrative process. Current provisions of the law are as follows. Establishment of the Law The legislature originally introduced the "art in public places" statute "in recognition of its responsibility to create a more humane environment of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all of its citizens." It was felt that, through installation of permanent works of art, the working environment would be enhanced and the quality of state buildings would be improved. Selection of the Artwork CCAH, in tandem with the designated "client agency" (e.g. a state prison, an educational institution), appoints a different art selection panel for each -13 -

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project. By law, each committee has at least eight members. Membership includes the project architect, a representative of the client agency, a local citizen, a tenant of the building who will use it on a daily basis, a professional artist (preferably one from the community), a CCAH board member, a state senator, and a state representative. Acquisition of the Artwork The selection committee may commission an artist for a work specifically for a particular site or the jury can purchase an existing piece of artwork. Commissioned artists are required to prepare and present a final design proposal to the jury before a binding contract for fabrication and installation is awarded. In the case of a direct purchase, the artist receives a contract for sale and installation. Upon installation, all purchased (or commissioned) artwork becomes the property of the state and a part of the state's permanent art collection. Funding History of the 2rogram The first work of art was acquired in 1978. As of 1987, approximately $675,000 of artwork has been purchased for the collection. Interestingly, as per a study conducted in January 1985, the assessment of the collection indicated an increase in value of -14 -

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62 percent from the original purchase price. According to the statute, not all capital con-struction projects are eligible for the percent-forart allocation.2 In fact only one-tenth of one-percent of all capital construction projects appropriated by the state since inception of the program have received "art in public places" funds. the result over time is an average actual percentage of closer to .5 percent of the total project budget rather than a full one-percent. 2 Projects, such as highway construction pontracts, are not eligible for such funds. Unfortunately, such projects comprise the bulk of state capital construction expenditures . -15 -

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The City of Denver Municipal Collection The City of Denver does not have a formal "art in public places" program. The City does have, however, a public art collection. According to a report published recently by Denver's arts commission, Denver's public art collection is "very eclectic and reflects the shifting interest demonstrated by its citizens in developing a vital and distinctive cultural environment," (Commission on Cultural Affairs, 1987) 0 History of the Collection Denver's initial interest in the subject of public art can be traced to the 1893 Columbian Exposition and the City Beautiful Movement. Elements of the Movement were very much appreciated by Robert W. Speer, who was elected to his first term as Denver's mayor in 1904. Speer can be credited with initiating the development of the city's boulevard and parks system. Speer had an urban plan that involved not only the channeling of Cherry Creek and the planting of trees, but was also concerned with the establishment of a coherent municipal hub. Civic Center Park and the City and County Building are the primary products of that concern, and it is there that Denver's public art collection began. Acquisitions The land which became Civic Center Park (i.e. the -16 -

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land that separates the State Capital Building and the City and County Building) was acquired in 1911. The design for the park was developed over more that a decade and incorporated the design ideas of several well known individuals, including Frederick Law Olmstead, Frederick MacMonnies, and E.H. Bennett. MacMonnies has established his reputation locally with the design and execution of the Pioneer Monument at the corner of Broadway and Colfax Avenue. Mayor Speer was strongly instrumental in developing a private sector base of support for the development of Civic Center Park, and, in 1916, initiated the successful and, at the time, innovative fund-raising campaign that encouraged the public to "Give While You Live." This program provided the incentive necessary to generate the public support needed to complete the park by pro-mising to inscribe the donor•s name on the "Colonnade of Civic Benefactors" which flanks the Greek Theatre. The Colonnade was completed in 1919, and in that same yea4 the City•s decision to divert Colfax around the Voorhies Memorial reiterated the administration•s commitment to the balanced, coherent design of its Civic Center, and to the realization of the City Beautiful plan. In the early l9201s, two of tha first acquisitions to Denver•s art collection, the monumental cast bronze sculptures Bucking Bronco and On the War Trail, were placed in Civic Center Park. -17 -

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The sense of civic pride illustrated by the acquisitions and planning conducted under the Speer Administration seems to have eroded over the course of this century, to which the decline in both acquisitions and attention to the maintenance of existing public artworks attests. The most notable exception to this trend since Speer's initiatives occurred in the early 1970's when a coalition of citizens and business people from three groups (i.e. the Parks People, the I-25 Artists Alliance, and Down-town Denver, Inc.) developed the "Art in the City" project. The focus of their efforts was the acquisition of small sculptural pieces which were placed in traffic triangles around the city to compensate for the decimation caused by the rampant Dutch Elm disease. This effort was also characterized by the copperation of the city government, which appropriated $25,000 in support of the project, funds from the NEA, and from the private sector. This public/private partnership was responsible for much of the artwork acquired in the late 1960's and early 1970's, as well as some restoration projects. Under the Pena Administration, the city is emphasizing restoration and the development of an annual maintenance program for the existing works. For example, the lack of proper care and restoration to the Children's Fountain in City Park has transformed this marble sculpture into a disastrous state. According to the inventory of existing works conducted by the City, more than 50% -18 -

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of the collection is in need of rudimentary maintence and cleaning. It is important to note, however, that the City has not implemented any formal program to this end. -19 -

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Public Art in Olde Town Arvada Olde Town has a very limited history of the incorporation of public art into its environmental design schemes. In fact, an inventory of area public art would include only two pieces : the Memorial Fountain and the Water Tower. The Memorial Fountain While World War I was fresh in the minds of the towns-people in 1920, a lasting tribute was made to the 106 men ' from Jefferson County (i.e. the county in which Arvada is located) who had died in the conflict. The Women's Relief Corps Number 35, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, had a memorial drinking fountain built in Mcilvoy Park. The fountain had a basin on four sides, an ornamental light at the top, and a WRC-GAR plaque on the front. Unfortunately, because of extensive vandalism sustained by the fountain over the years, it was removed in 1968. The Water Tower Fifty-eight years after dedication of the Memorial Fountain, Olde Town Arvadans again decided to invest in public art. This time, the art took the form of a large-scale area landmark. In response toa included in an Olde Town designjeconomic plan drafted in the late 1970's (i.e. The Downtown Turnaround --see the bibliography of this 20 -

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report for more information), the city planning office financed the renovation of a previously non-descript area water tower. The renovation was a simple project. City officials felt that a new coat of paint and the application of an "Olde Town Arvada" logo could transform the tower into an excellent "community identification" design feature. Given the tower•s high visibility, it serves as a beacon for the area. Visuals of Olde Town public art follow. -21 -

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The Memorial Fountain The Women's Relief Corps Number 35, Auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic, had a memorial drinking fountain built in Olde Town's main public park, Mcilvoy Park. -22 -

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The Water Tower During the tower's history, many civic-minded citizens have taken it upon themselves to decorate the tower with temporary embellishments. The "Olde Town Arvada" logo is ornamentation of a more permanent nature. -23 -

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In order to understand how public art can be used in urban design, one needs to understand the concept of placemaking. A discussion follows. -24 -

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What are Placemakers? The legacy of the Modern Movement in architecture is all around us. With its austere approach to the various elements of environmental design has come " •.. the spectre of placelessness ... a banal sameness that haunts not only the older commercial strip along the road to the airport but also the new development that is massively changing the profile of many a city center (leading to) (Fleming, 1987: 1). While this late 20th Century social/environmental ill is not peculiar to the u.s., we do seem to have raised the discipline of monotony all too often to an art form. According to Richard Andrews, Director of the Visual Arts program at the NEA: The complete lack of surprise in American landscapes is an awful failure. In many European cities, you walk around and are never sure what•s going to be around the next corner. Sociologists have long studied the repercussions of humans inhabiting environments to which they have difficulty attaching an identity. And, while the various data may indicate specific reactions to specific sites, the consensus is that prolonged contact with a non-descript environment leads toward -25 -

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a deep-seated sense of non-caring about that environment. When confronting this condition of placelessness and trying to combat it, the community must seek ways to connect people to such environments. Otherwise, places remain dead spaces that tell no tales and offer no support only a general feeling of the anomie and angst that social commentators ascribe to our age, (Fleming, 1-2). Where Did We Go Wrong? As mentioned in the first section of this paper, the human need to express a sense of identity is one with an historical (actually prehistorical) precedent. And that identity, from caveman times forward, has often been expressed through art. According to Louis G. Redstone, FAIA: Since time immemorial, there has been a human quest to express human experience through art, whether historical, religious, or relating to the events of daily life. This "natural predisposition" over time led toward various forms of art and ornamentation. Over the last several decades, this ornamentation has fallen into disregard. According to Ronald Lee Fleming: The tenets of the Modern Movement emphasized the integrity of function -26 -

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that expressed the new technology in abstract designs of glass and steel and concrete. For a half century, the disciples of the Modern Movement looked on ornament as part of the decadent embrace of the 19th Century historicism and thus eschewed the ornamental narrative that such decoration creates. Public art or 'placemakers' of a representational character with intricately worked surfaces and a wide range of materials, can serve as a counterpoint to these abstractions. Beyond these isolated pieces of ornamentation is a more coherent artistic expression: the artistic expression of a well-designed city. Shaped with grace and well-crafted, the city is stage and backdrop for our daily urban dram.a •.. yet this drama is often ill-proportioned and unfocused. This maladaptation is often reflected in the environmental design (Lipske, 1985:14). What Are Placemakers and How Are They Created? In essence, "placemakers" are public art that gives its site a sense of place --be they freestanding sculpture, inlaid brickwork, or a harmoniously designed office park. -27 -

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In the Image of the City, Kevin Lynch stated: As an artificial world, the city should be in the best sense made cvvt cuui luu?uut When this "goal is met, an environment will have a strong spirit of place. But what does Lynch mean by the term "art"? We are accustomed to thinking of art as an object that hangs in a gallery or sits in a plaza. We also think of art as an event --a concert or opera or play. But places can be works of art (Lipske, 14) . Environmental works of art that function as placemakers can accomplish a great deal. According to Fleming, works of public art, urban design, and artifacts can help us to define, reveal, enrich, expand, or otherwise make accessible the meanings of a particular environment. . Each element can tell a special tale about the evolving character of its location (Fleming, 2-3). This placemaking approach to design can have a major impact on an environment. This approach can entirely transform the locations the placemakers celebrate. Some can provide simply decorative richness, historic insight, commemorative relief, or just a whimsical bump-in-the-mind. However many placemakers remain isolated -28 -

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objects in space. It is important to realize that placemakers and their effect could be more pronounced if architects and urban designers sought to relate them to each other (Fleming, 6). How can we make places that we love and value? We can utilize a wide range of materials, oftentimes at modest cost (e.g. carV.ed bricks, inlaid pavements, painted walls, mosaic covered benches, salvaged architectural fragments, cast aluminum reliefs or sculpted tree trunks) that can help to express the distinctive features or popular aspirations of a given environments (Ibid). Other design opportunities include traffic islands, parks, alleys, proposed monorail stations, and sidewalks scheduled for repair (Lipske, 24). Regardless of the medium or of the site, it is important to remember that placemakers have nothing to do with art or ornamentation that disregards its environment, i.e. they are not "plop art". Placernakers are also not subject to quantification. The concept of rendering a place as art or a site as a placemaker is not something that can always be measured in square feet or calculated as a percentage of the municipal budget. Categories of Placemakers According to Fleming, placernakers can be grouped -29 -

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into four broad types: 1) --works of art or a piece of urban design that makes no specific reference to a physical or social context, but merely enables one to remember a particular node because the work is there. This form of placemaker is particularly important in a highway culture. 2) --responds directly to the content of what it celebrates but without a particular site or event. Generic Placemakers can commemorate a function such as a substation or a popular local industry. 3) --a category of design elements that responds to particular locations or commemorates particular people or events. Specific placemakers are most closely attached to a place; their value depends on the vesting of association and might significantly decline if moved. 4) P-la.ce. --the most comprehensive, most frequently utilized; they include decorative elements created by artisans that reinforce the identity of a place. As discrete elements, they lack the power to be "place transforming" but, in the aggregate, such things as wrought iron detailing, stained glass scenes, crafted street furniture and the like define the character of a place --particularly if the decorative elements come together to complete a theme (Fleming, 10-11). 30 -

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Examples: -This wooden construction located near the entrance of the Denver Art Museum is a It has no historic significance; the piece serves as ornamentation and as a location-reminder. This bust of Governor Ralph L. Carr. is located at Denver's Sakura Square Garden. While the piece celebrates the accomplishments of a Colorado politician, its location is not particularly significant making

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The bronze, sculptured doors which serve as the entrance to the Colorado National Bank Building on 17th and Champa Streets are -32 -Artist Alphonse Pelzer created this bronze figure of a gold miner. The statue was originally placed atop the Mining Exchange Building which later became the site for Brooks Towers. The Exchange Building was razed, Brooks Towers was constructed, and the figure was placed at the entrance to the new apartment structure. This is

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How Placemakers Work Simply, create a sense of which leads to aJ-c..a/l.e. and for a place. Placemakers can serve as the handmaiden of urban design when they go beyond their intrinsic value as works of art or artisanry or their function as amenities. Below are four objectives that can give a placemaker an intrinsic role in urban design. They can serve as something that provides: 1) direction within or to a place; 2) connection to a place; 3) orientation to a place; and, 4) animation within. a place. (Fleming, 8) The concept of placemaking is an acknowledgement that color, form, texture, balance, and composition merit equal consideration with the economic and social demands that guide planning and development. New places incorporating art are created and old ones are saved when leaders recognize and articulate the vision of self shared by a community (Lipske, 19). And, while placemakers and other forms of public art aren't a panacea for social ills, the city that is legible as opposed to chaotic, that rewards the senses rather than insulting them, heightens a collective sense of good design (Lipske, 21). -33 -

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Therefore, graphically displayed: Public Art which enhances a place = PLACEMAKERS care and proprietorship for a place. -34 -

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Justifications for the Incorporation of Placemaking Public Art Urban policy prescriptions ordinarily pay little attention to the design of the built environment. An exception to this is the report issued by the Committee on National Urban Policy of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. This report states: (McNulty, 1985:43) This section outlines three justifications used in support of the existence of various cultural amenities in general, and of placemaking public art in particular. These justifications include: 1) as aesthetic enhancement; 2) as a community catalyst; and, 3) as an economic development tool. -35 -

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As Aesthetic Enhancement To speak of "aestheticism" can conjure up the image of dealing with trivialities: art for art's sake and nothing more. But an aesthetically-pleasing environment can do much more than soothe the eye. As Wolf Von Eckhardt writes in his book, Live the Good Life: The identity, order, and beauty we bring to our environment are returned to us by giving us a sense of identity. We shape our environment, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, and then our environment shapes us. (Von Eckhardt, 93) The arts share a common purpose with planning f n the exercise of helping to make a city livable. Works of art, whether murals, fountains, or buildings help to attract people to areas and define their uniqueness as places. The artwork which embellishes New York City's Rockefeller Center has given the city a unique place of a special and delightful nature; it is public art understood by everyone. Lawrence Halprin's fountain in Portland is another crowded public gathering place where water creates all types of spaces for people to relax by or to play in (Perloff, 1979: 99). -36 -

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The creation of what Lynch terms a "distinctive, legible environment" can be aided by the presence of aesthetically-pleasing public art. And, as our lives get more mechanized and our country becomes more urbanized, as our opportunities to experience unspoiled nature get smaller, we need the beauty of art to give meaning and dignity to our lives and to our environment (Von Eckhardt, 1) • Aesthetically-pleasing environments aren't necessarily places one can immediately create by the placement of a piece of sculpture. Sometimes, the fact that a place acquires aesthetic significance has more to do with the passage of time than with a design element per se. According to Adele Chatfield-Taylor, Director of NEA's Design Arts program, over the years some places take on new meaning as "landmarks or as vessels that hold our memories." But places that are not originally designed well with an eye toward aesthetics do not, as a rule, stand the test of time. Embellishment At one time, architects, who were often artists themselves, hired artist-assistants to embellish their buildings. Historically, art as sculpture, painting, and landscape had a major :r;:ole . to play in the making of human spaces (Perloff, 104). -37 -

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In this period of post-Modernism, some people yearn once again for embellishment. However, not everyone wants, as Tom Wolfe wrote in From Bauhaus to Our House, "buildings that catered to the hogstomping Baroque exuberance of American civilization." But, many people have expressed the desire for more aesthetically-pleasing structuresr ones with appropriate ornamentation. Aside from being the fashion of the recent past, some buildings are quite bland to the eye because craft skills have disappeared and, where they exist, they are often very expensive. It is sometimes difficult to justify the added expense of embellishment. An unfortunate prevailing attitude, however hostile, accepts the built environment as some-one else's responsibility and that embellishment --whether plaza, sculpture, or landscaping --is_ somehow a questionable use of the construction budget (Porter, 1980:43). But embellishment is important. According to the book the Arts and City Planning, (the presence of) plazas, parks, band shelters, fountains, sculptures, supergraphics, and other incorporations of art are, almost without exception, thought of being positive, important, and essential components of an environment ..• (emphasis De Rose) • -38 -

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The "quality not quantity" argument has its place with regard to embellishment in the form of public art. Art in and around public buildings need not be in great quantity to have an impact on the general public, but it must be there in a sufficient amount to effect a change in the cultural environment (Perloff, 104) • Places as Art The concept of embellishment on the scale of an entire office complex or a city gives us, in a sense, a new art form. It is made up, in part, of other art forms --sculpture, gardens, open space, buildings (old and new), the decorative arts, and temporary embellishments. It depends for its validity on the perception that the aesthetic whole is greater that the sum of its parts and that beauty of the is the essence of its interest and importance (Lipske, forward). Aesthetics and Spirituality Good aesthetics are a good spiritual investment. Mean and hideous surroundings a low, commonplace, or eccentric taste have a debasing and dehumanizing effect upon the spirit (Von Eckhardt, 2). A positively-viewed environment moves us beyond unevolved reality. As Roger G. Kennedy has been quoted as saying, " ... art (must exist for) for the sake of our salvation from lives of skittering triviality." -39 -

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As a Community Catalyst Part of our communal self-awareness is our sense of what art means to us. Public art and the process of cultural planning help to focus attention of this self-discovery by integrating the arts into the everyday experience of area residents. This institutionalization of self expression can serve as a catalyst or --sometimes as co-conspirator --toward a shared sense of community. Integration is Key The late Josh Taylor, former director of the National Museum of American Art, stated: Humanity is hurting. We have been so busy.spinning our systems, gathering information, and explaining what everything is about that we have become elements in our own narratives with not a place to go to that we can call horne. In much the same way that fine aesthetics can lead toward a higher level of spirituality, art can define an otherwise norrnless society in such a way as to create a sense of and a reason for place. 40 -

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And a way of creating this desirable condition is to form a close cooperation, ideally a merging, Qf the arts and urban design, of cultural planning and city planning (Von Eckhardt, 102). This cooperation, or integration, can occur on many levels. The best way to bring art into the daily life of a community is to bring the cityscape to life all year round ••. with singers, storytellers, kiosks, attractive pavements, illustrative manhole covers, and the like. In order to fully integrate aspects of cultural experience, one must cultivate the fulfilling effects, all of the city and its suburban region, every aspect of life, in order to reclaim each day as a cultural experience. The good life cannot be compartmentalized. As mentioned previously, culture, as our foreparents knew, isn't confined within the walls of institutions. And when art is placed where people can come into contact with it and it becomes a part of their environment, it can have a positive impact on public attitudes (Perloff, 104) • Cultural planners should reach out to find what is unique in the diversity of local people and their local cultural aspirations, and, in doing so, help to bring into being art districts and places of -41 -

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public gatherings which are specific to those communities, according to Michael Pittas, former Director of the Design Arts program at the NEA. After all, "livability" means that the design of human settlements is in harmony with the citizens' landscapes, history, and regional traditions. Art can serve as the storytelling device. Problems in Integration Many of the problems of the arts in its many forms and of their limited impact on our neighborhoods, towns, and cities, have arisen from the tendency to place them not at the center --but at the periphery of our social ordering (Porter, 1980:13). This situation, at best, creates indifference toward the art and, at worst, creates outright antagonism toward its presence. Many of the established pieces of public art are set in deserted spaces to be viewed suspiciously from a distance by upright citizens and up close only by " .•. winos and bums who the principle habitues of these spaces," (Porter, 12). Incorporating art within the public realm (from both locational and ideological perspectives) requires that planners and designers be sensitive to the needs of the community. This initial sensitivity results in a well-received, well-integrated work of art .... or, at least, this thoughtfulness gives the work a fighting chance. 42 -

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As an Economic Development Tool The idea of incorporating the concepts of the "arts" and of "economic development" as ONE concept came about primarily because of two concurrent events. First, arts administrators commissioned studies to "justify" the existence and funding of the arts from the perspective of the arts as an income-producing/income-generating industry. Then, city planners made the term "economic development" the buzzword of this decade. When the two professional groups came together, they realized that they shared at least one common ideal. Thus, the foundation was set for the subject of "the economics of cultural amenities." In order to begin to understand the joint subject of the arts and economic development, one needs to look at amenity infrastructure as an element of a human settlement's larger infrastructural network. One also needs to examine government and business involvement in the arts, and the issue of livability from an economic development perspective. Amenity Infrastructure The term "infrastructure" relates to the underlying foundation or basic framework of a system. Typically, when the term is used with regard to human settlements, infrastructure refers to: .•• adequate and affordable water and sewer services, streets and sidewalks -43 -

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in good repair, dependable public transportation, functioning solid waster disposal facilities, safe bridges, and decent public buildings. (McNulty, 1985:1089) Amenities, themselves, include the attractive, desirable features of a place --physical, historical, cultural, and social --that contribute to a commun ity•s overall quality of life. 11Quality of life11 includes a wide range of elements such as health, safety, education, housing, and transportation which, in sum, determine whether a particular community is a generally desirable place to live and to work (McNulty, 30). Therefore, is the underlying support for cultural activities (be they performing or visual arts) that, by its presence, act as a support for an increased quality of life. But, while few citizens will protest the expenditure of public funds for a sewer, cultural amenity infrastructure has received short shrift in many cities recently as attention has focused on other elements of the capital stock. Some cities have made no new significant investment in their amenity infrastructure since their founding days and other cities view 44 -

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maintenance and rehabilitation as having a low priority on their agendas (McNulty, 109). But, astute politicians and administrators alike have begun to recognize the fundamental importance of amenity infrastructure. Hence, we have the development of the profession of "cultural planning": an organized private and public effort to generate and coordinate artistic and cultural activities that enrich a community's quality of life and increase the excitement and enjoyment available there. Ideally, cultural planning involves integrating the arts, cultural facilities, and cultural events with all aspects of community and economic development as well as with physical planning and design, tourism, and city promotion. Physical planning and design include, most notably, public art. Government/Business Involvement The importance--particularly the economic importance--of physical design has come to the fore: Design quality has become an issue for discussion among both the public and private sectors. City governments are discovering that good design pays off, i.e. investments devoted to making the physical city look better and work better generate an economic return for both the public and private sectors (McNulty, 44). Public/private partnerships have gained prominence within the field of cultural planning. The public sector -45 -

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supports such projects by levying taxes and floating necessar y bonds. The private sector pays those taxes and often supplements its efforts through philanthropic support. Government and business are working more closely together to develop and carry out design/cultural planning decisions and negotiation is becoming an approach commonly used to improve design. Governmental bodies recognize the variety of incentives that they can offer to support the arts. City government particularly is becoming more aware of the impact it can have on the quality of design through their actions on their own property holdings and through their influence on other property -specifically as a result of their taxing, spending, and regulatory powers. They are actively using these methods in many positive ways (e.g. by drafting/enforcing design standards, enacting percent for art legislation). Livability The Places Rated Almanac rates cities in nine categories, each of which encompasses several factors: climate and terrain, housing, health care and environment, crime, transportation, education, recreation, economics, "Livability", however defined, as it affects s decisions about where to live, work, visit, and do business, is one factor that contributes to a city's competitive advantage for private investment. In other words, increasing livability can serve economic development ends -46 -

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Given the importance of the arts with regard to a city's livability rating, cultural amenities should figure importantly in infrastructure policy making. When parks, museums, libraries, performing arts facilities, and public art are allowed to deteriorate or do not keep pace with the population or to changing demands, a city loses much of what makes it attractive. And as these amenities grow even more important for urban development, that loss may be counted in dollars lost to the local economy as well as in declining quality of life. Caveats It is worth noting two caveats with regard to utilizing the arts as an economic development tool. First, whether various cultural elements blend into a desirable quality of life is a function, not of arithmetic, but of local conditions. The "bottom line" of quality of life is how the factors interrelate to create the identity of a place as experienced by the residents. The combination of objective conditions and subjective judgments constitutes a city's livability. The arts, alone, are only one aspect of this entire quality of life picutre. Secondly, economic impact of the arts studies have been useful from the perspective of institutionalizing the idea of the arts as a positive, incomegenerating industry. However, some of the exact -47 -

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dollar amounts of the worth of the arts to a given community are an inexact science at best and completely misleading at worst. The point of these studies should not be to pinpoint a dollar figure but rather to explain the direct correlation of a cultural infrastructure to a social/economic infrastructure. Enforcing that concept is enough. -48 -

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Pcvd II Placernaking in Olde Town Arvada !Jn--to. -tlu.4 at (!)!_k 1amn-a.n-a.nd a.n-cvd

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Introduction to Purpose and Methodology In William H. Whyte's book, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, tpe research team concluded that peaple -Uz. CCUt k wil.lt peaple --a seemingly rudimentary observation which nevertheless escaped most architects, developers, and public officials at the time. Successful urban spaces, according to Whyte, were places noted for ample seating near high levels of pedestrian activity. As he wrote in a concluding chapter: It is wonderfully encouraging that places people like most of all, find least crowded, and most restful are small spaces marked by a high density of people and a very efficient use of space. (Whyte, 1980: 87) This study was particularly important because it emphasized the network of urban places which, in addition to being socially functional spaces, contribute to one's sense of an area as being a coherent, socially vital community. Ideally, Olde Town should be and can be a coherent, socially vital community, too. And, for my study, I am focusing on using public art to achieve that end. Therefore, my study of Olde Town includes an analysis -49 -

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of, not only the entire area, but of two specific area public spaces: Mcilvoy Park and OJ.de Town Square. Using two separate approaches patterned after the works of William Whyte (with regard to how spaces are used) and Kevin Lynch (with regard to how areas are viewed) , I was able to collect data that can be used in the subsequent development of an "environmental profile" for the area (i.e. a profila which outlines the social and visual essence) Given Olde Town Arvada's rich historical heritage, this section contains a brief history. Included are descriptions of both Mcilvoy Park and Olde Town Square. This section also contains an explanation of the research methodology and of the findings of the exercise. 50 -

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History of Olde Town Arvada On June 22, 1850, a gold panner named Lewis Ralston of Lumpkin County, Georgia discovered gold ore at the spot where (what carne to be known as) Ralston Creek flowed into Vasquez Fork (presently Clear Creek) . Soon after, Ralston, seeing greater riches to be found in California, headed to the West Coast. When he returned to Colorado in 1858 to the creek that now bears his name, he did not stay. Up on the sandy point where Ralston made his 1850 gold discovery (by now called "Ralston's Point"), a settlement began to grow as the dreams of gold in the valley did not pan out. Ditches that had previously been dug to sluice the gold were now turned into the fields to irrigate the crops. The settlers realized where the true richness lay --in the wealth of the soil. Early in the 1860's, two miners, Benjamin Wadsworth and Lewis Reno, began making plans for a town. They platted streets and encouraged merchants to move to the area. During this time, the gold and silver camps were roaring up in the mountains. The railroads were laying tracks in the ore fields. In 1870, the Colorado Central Railroad began its regularly scheduled runs from Denver to Golden. One .of its contracts called for mail service but it was a policy of the railroad to deliver mail to -51 -

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an area only when that area had an official name registered in Washington, D.C .. It might have seemed logical that the town carry the name of the original settlement, Ralston's Point or Ralston. However, Mrs. Benjamin (Mary) Wadsworth chose the middle name of her brother-in-law, Hiram Arvada Haskin, and the unincorporated town became "Arvada" on December l, 1870. The area of "Olde Town Arvada" corresponds very closely with two very early Arvada plats: the Arvada Subdivision platted in 1870 and the Reno Park Subdivision plated in 1889. Livery stables, grocery stores, feed companies, and blacksmith shops were among the businesses established to serve Olde Town. Muddy streets, a rising crime rate, and the temperance movement contributed to the desire of the citizenry to incorporate. On July 16, 1904, a successful incorporation vote was held and, on August 16 of that same year, the Judge of the County Court certified that Arvada was indeed an incorporated town. In early Arvada, as in most towns and cities, the downtown was bordered by residential and industrial areas. Access to the downtown was primarily by foot or horse. Consequently, the landlocked area into which commercial enterprise could expand was tightly defined. -52 -

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The Era of the World Wars The year 1915 brought the promise of a more prosperous Olde Town Arvada business community with the prospects of a new tire factory. After several fits and starts, the factory opened in September of that year. Construction of the tire factory was a lure for the opening and expansion of several small area businesses including a furniture store and a short-lived movie theatre. A much heralded addition to Olde Town•s business section was the Al Davis Block at the corner of Grandview Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard. This two-story building was completed in 1916 and housed a car dealership and a confectionary store. When the u.s. Congress declared war against Germany in 1917, the effect of that action was felt by the citizens of Arvada. The Red Cross was popular and the local residents supported a branch of the Denver chapter. Most of the eligible men had joined the fighting overseas and, as was true in other parts of the country, the women stepped into 11Unofficial11 leadership positions in the community. After the war, the Ku Klux Klan began its rise to power in Colorado. By 1924, its presence was being felt strongly in Olde Town. The presence of the Klan created a negative image for the community; therefore, community leaders felt the need to develop some sort of positive -53 -

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event for the area. Thus the Arvada Harvest Festival, one of Colorado's oldest and largest community celebrations, came into being. The theme of the first festival was a celebration of the first all-concrete highway between Arvada and Denver. The festival was a huge success and has been held annually ever since. The community slowly began to grow. The Federal Census of the time showed a population of 1276 on April l, 1930. Activities of the Klan declined dramatically and the area's public infrastructure became a focus of effort. Water pump meters were installed, streets were tilled and manicured, and the residents began a lawn beautification program. The '30's was a quiet decade. The two most exciting events weie the opening of a new entity called a "supermarket" and the renovation of a nearby bowling alley. Construction of residential housing was the hallmark of the 1940's. Eight houses were built during that decade and an apartment house was renovated. By 1949, the area's population had grown to 2200. -54 -

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Arvada Now -Olde Town from 1950 Forward According to the Arvada Planning Department, the size of Olde Town Arvada --from both geographic and density perspectives --was probably adequate to serve the 1950 area population of 2359 people. But, by 1975, Arvada's population increased to 85,000. With this tremendous increase in population, Olde Town did not grow either outward or upward as happened in many other cities. Rather, commercial growth occurred in satellite centers outside of Olde Town. In the mid-seventies, the condition of Olde Town became an area of concern for both the public and private sectors. The Arvada City Council adopted their 1974/ 1975 in part as a result of this concern. These targets generally had two effects: 1) of establishing community policy and 2) of giving the city administration formal direction as to what programs and projects the Council wished to undertake during a two-year period. Specifically, the City Council resolved to: ••• pursue an active policy toward the development of commercial businesses within the City (particularly as it refers to) the rehabilitation of Olde Town. City policy dictated that a formal plan or program be prepared. Therefore, the Downtown Turnaround Plan: -55 -

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A Program of Design and Economic Ideas and Opportunities for Arvada's Central Business District was drafted and adopted by the Council in 1977. The goals statement of this document was divided into three sections: economic goals, transportation/traffic/parking goals, and urban design goals. While the Downtown Plan was generally well-received by the community, because of lack of very few of the plan's many recommendations were ever implemented. Given socio-economic changes, the plan is no longer valid. Therefore, presently Olde Town is in need of an infusion of new design and economic ideas. Positive Aspects of Present Day Olde Town While Olde Town has obstacles to overcome, the area has some positive aspects, with regard to this study, that deserve notice. First of all, while several neighboring suburbs (e.g. Lakewood, Westminster, Wheatridge) have investigated the possibility of developing a "downtown". Olde Town Arvada is an established downtown. And, with that existing town center comes an opportunity to capitalize on the possibility of a related sense of place. Secondly, Olde Town Arvada also has an established economic development organization {i.e. Forward Arvada) with a membership that is very interested in any 3 Bond issues were defeated on public vote. -56 -

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mechanisms intended to strengthen the area. While most of these mechanisms will fall under the rubric of commercial revitalization initiatives, the arts in general and "excellence in design" in particular, are being emphasized. Further, with regard to the arts, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is located three miles north of Olde Town. While the Center is experiencing some difficulties, problems of this nature are cyclical and the proximity of an established Arvada arts center could complement a well-designed Olde Town. Negative Aspects of Present Day Olde Town For many years, the buildings of Olde Town have been plagued by a high vacancy rate and a concurrently high rate of transience of area merchants. This state of flux has created a negative image for the area. Concurrently, many of the merchants who have established businesses in Olde Town have chosen the area simply because the rent is so low. This one-dimensional criterion has resulted in a somewhat confusing hodgepodge of tenant mix. If Olde Town has a perceived theme regarding commercial composition, it is as a center for antique stores. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with such shops, the lack of diversity has not served the area well from social, economic, or visual perspectives. -57 -

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Therefore, in essence, Olde Town is not a hopeless cause. But the area needs a tremendous amount of work. In order to provide more background for this particular study effort, one needs a little background on Olde Town's main public spaces: Mcilvoy Park and Olde Town Square. Thus, brief histories follow. -58 -

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Mcilvoy :?ark Mcilvoy, Arvada's first community park, officially carne into existence on May 12, 1919 when two gentlemen (J.F. White and J.A. Pierce) representing Clemency M. Mcilvoy presented Arvada officials the deed to three acres of property located at Grandview Avenue and Upham Street. Mrs. Mcilvoy specified that the property be used as a public park bearing the family name. Upon presentation of the deed, officials commissioned S.R. DeBoer, a noted Denver landscape designer, to prepare plans for the grounds. Within two weeks, DeBoer presented his drawings to the town board. The plans called for two brick posts to be erected at the entrance of the park on the southwest corner of the property. The plans also provided for elaborate landscaping throughout the grounds. By July of that year, work was begun on erecting the two brick posts. Articles of historic interest were places in a metal box; the box was then placed 4 in a crypt in one of the posts. Because development of the park proceeded at such a slow pace, Mrs. Mcilvoy donated an additional $1,000 in hopes of expediting the process by the infusion of new funds. The park was completed within three months. 4 The fate of the historic treasue box is a mystery as it was not recovered when the pillars were torn down by the city in the 1950's. -59 -

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Olde Town Square (Halprin, 1972:27) According to the Arvada Planning Department's 1977 Downtown Turnaround Plan, Olde Town was in need of a plaza or square and the best opportunity for such an amenity was the northeast corner of the intersection of West 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth. This site, at the time of the ratification of the plan, was a City of Arvada parking lot. It was felt that the parking that would be lost by the creation of the square could be reallocated to other areas of the city. Therefore, without further ado, construction was begun on Olde Town Square. According to the plan, the square could be the "center of Arvada". The city radiates to the north and south along Wadsworth Boulevard and to the east and west along Ralston Road and Grandview Avenue (57th Avenue runs parallel to Ralston and Grandview --in the center of these two arterials). The plan _also stated that the square should be the center of events: things such 60 -

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as sculptural exhibits, dance events, concerts, sidewalk musicians, art shows, craft fairs, and celebrations. In the ten years since completion of the square, this much ballyhoo-ed midtown amenity has stood empty far too often --a sad fact to which the following analyses attest. -61 -

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The Environmental Profile

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Use of the Park and the Square While both Mcilvoy Park and Olde Town Square, upon were envisioned to be active, "people places", both spaces have met with only limited success with regard to this criterion. After a quarter-century of residence, I had a fairly accurate sense of how both spaces are used. But in order to take my intuitive knowledge an additional step, I decided to personally observe space usage at set times during each of the four seasons. Inspired by the Social Life of" Small Urban Spaces by William Whyte and his study's emphasis on analyzing the use of public places, I set out to analyze both Mcilvoy Park and Olde Town Square. It is important to note that my approach to these observations was extremely abbreviated in comparison with Whyte's methodology. However, data I culled from my brief visits combined with my knowledge of the area more than sufficed for the purposes of this report. Four observation dates were selected for each site: one weekday and one weekend day in January, April, July and October. I spent 45 minutes at each site at three different intervals on each day; this schedule included a morning, a lunchtime, and a late afternoon/early evening time slot. The following tables outline my findings. -62 -

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0\ w Mcl1voy Park 8:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. C:OO p.a. J.-1. 4 young children were standing along the tennis court fence waiting for the school to open 20 kids were playing at various parts of the park; also, two adults walked thru the park eastbound 5 kids were kicking a ball around in the middle of the grass Olde Town Sq. J.,l. 0 9:00 a.m. 3 people were 0 -waiting at the southern bus-stop one adult 12:30 p.m. 2 people were I 2 people walked through I waiting at the sat on the the park west-western busstop; interior wall bound one adult walked just talking diagonally thru for 20 minutes the plaza 0 3 people were 0 --5:00 p.m. waiting at the southern bus-stop JA...'WARY

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Mci1voy Park 8:00 •••• 11:30 a.m. 4 : 0 0 p.m . 12 kids were hanging out in the park waiting for the start of school: two teens walked through the park westbd. 4 adults (office w orkers?) were having a picnic at the tables 40 little soccer players were practicing 0 -35 people were having a picnic on the eastern edge of the park 0 01de Town Scy. 9:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. APRIL 4 people were waiting for a bus at the southern stop 2 people were picnicking in the center; 2 I I i people were wait-1 I ing at the west-ern bus stop 7 people were waiting at the western busstop I I I 0 -4 adults walked through the plaza to their cars; 2 people stood in the plaza and talked for 10 minutes 0 -

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Mcilvoy Park 8:00 a.a. 11:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 0 2 adults were having lunch at the picnic tables; 4 kids walked thru en route to 0 -8 people were waiting at the west curb apparently as a group waiting for a ride 0 -0 -JULY Olde Town Scy. 9:00 a.111.. 12:30 p.m. 5:0 0 p.m. 4 people were waiting at the southern busstop --I RECOGNIZE them! 4 adults were sitting on the grassy slopes eating lunch 0 I 32 people are standing in the plaza seemingly organizing rides to another location 4 kids are riding skate-boards in the plaza 2 of the 4 kids from lunchtime are still riding their skateboards

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Mci1voy Park 8:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m . 5 kids are hanging out along the fence, talking and waiting for school to open 100 or so kids are in the park playing various field games; I see no adults 42 little football players are practicing; 25 adults are watching the practice from the sidewalk 0 0 0 01de Town Sq. 9:00 a.m. 12:30 p . m . 5:00 p .m. OCTOBER 7 people are waiting at the busstop; 4 adults walked through the plaza 12 people are just hanging out on the grass and on the benches 0 I i I I I 4 women are sitting at the busstop but they take none of the busses that come along the skateboarders are back -4 boys are practic-ing in the plaza; I can' t tell if they are the same kids 0 -

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Summary of Findings From my previous knowledge of these spaces and from my observations, it becomes apparent that both Mc!lvoy Park and Olde Town Square are the antithesis of active people-places. There is very little. to draw people to either space; at best, both locations seem to be stopover points to bigger and better things. With regard to Mc!lvoy Park, it: o is used most frequently by students from a school located across the street; o contains no real seating --except for that at picnic tables located at the edge of the park; o is empty on the weekends; o is used as a route for locations both east and west; and, now that the Cornerstone development is open for business, the park is used for travels north (see photo). With regard to Olde Town Square, it: o is used primarily by people waiting for a bus; o area seating is seldom used; the seating is both uninviting and uncomfortable; o the cement plaza is used primarily by young children, mostly on skateboards; o serves as an area to walk "around" rather than through. Both areas experience little weekend activity (when school is out and commuters are less apt to use busses). Both spaces fail as well-used public places. -67 -

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How Olde Town Is Viewed In an effort to get a sense of how Olde Town is viewed by both residents and non-residents of the area, I formulated a brief questionnaire (see Appendix A) . This instrument was then administered --verbally, face-to-face --to 30 individuals. The Respondents The respondents to this part of study were selected at three different, traffic Olde Town intersections along the main north-south street of Wadsworth (i.e. at Ralston, West 57th, and Grandview). Individuals were selected on the basis of a general profile I had developed. The profile was an attempt to get a cross-section of a population from the perspectives of age and sex. It was not an .attempt, however, to gather a statistically representative sample (i.e. on representative in relation to the demographics of either Olde Town or of Arvada as a whole). Therefore, respondents to this survey included: 15 males 15 females ages 15-30 2 resident/3 non-resident 2 resident/ 3 non-resident 31-50 3 resident/2 non-resident 3 resident/2 non-resident 51-over 3 resident/2 non-resident 3 resident/2 non-resi1dent -68 -

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The Questionnaire The questionnaire was adapted from the pioneering work of Kevin Lynch which he outlined in the Image of the City. For my study, the questionnaire first asked the respondents to draw to quick sketch maps: one indicating important features of the area and another indicating one or two imaginary trips around the area. I wanted to ascertain, from these maps, what features the respondents remembered without any prompting on my part. Lynch stated that he found "a listing of distinctive features" after indicated which elements of an area have had the most impact on a given individual --much more so than a sketch map. Therefore, I next asked the respondents to list distinctive parts of the area in order to see which elements may or may not be indicated on their maps. Respondents were then asked to indicate where 26 different Olde Town elements are located (on a non-labelled map --see Appendix . This gave me a greater sense of the respondents' familiarity with the area. Finally, I asked the respondents to tell me what they'd like to see in Olde Town. From this information? I hoped to cull the viewed structure of Olde Town, the paths, nodes, districts, edges, and landmarks which, because of their familiarity 5 Again, my familiarity with the area played a key role in this process. 69 -

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and distinctiveness, are recalled when people attempt to visualize the area. It should be noted that these interviews took place outside in Olde Town at the locations at which the respondents were stopped. Therefore, the folks could just "look around" for visual clues, for answers to the questions. Surprisingly, they did not. Results to the questionnaire follow. Sketch Maps Identifying Important Features Of the 30 sketch maps, 28 showed great similarity (the two that did not were drawn by the youngest nonresidents). The similar elements included Mcilvoy Park, Olde Town Square, First National Bank, the Olde Town Water Tower, and the intersections of Olde Wadsworth/ Ralston and Wadsworth/Grandview. The formal names for these sites were seldom known, however; more often respondents just indicated "the bank" or "the park" on their maps. In a comparison of the maps, discrepencies arose between two main groups: residents v. non-residents and over-50 v. under-50. Not surprisingly, residents tended to identify elements which were close to their homes (e.g. nearby busstops, mailboxes) while non-residents identified commuter features such as parking lots and streets. Respondents over age 50 tended to identify features -7C -

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that had some historical significance. Comments while drawing such as ''this building housed the first cobbler" or "this corner was the site of the area's first car dealership" were frequent. Interestingly, several individuals (n=lO) asked if the Arvada Urban Renewal area to the south of Olde Town should be included in the analysis (N.B. technically, it should not). In fact, most people were vague as to the exact boundaries of Olde Town. This is not surprising; city officials are vague as well. For purposes of this study, Olde Town is that which is indicated on the map (see Appendix B) • Sketch Maps Identifying Imaginary Trips Of the 30 sketch maps of "imaginary trips", 28 indicated that Wadsworth and Grandview would be the two best paths on which to take such trips. Only 2 teenagers thought of taking off-the-beaten-path trips. Events along these routes centered around shopping (not surprisingly given the commercial nature of the area) or a stop at Olde Town Square. Interestingly, the respondents, including all of the resident respondents, completely ignored the area's several side streets, the two other east-west collectors (i.e. West 57th and Ralston), and any course to Mcilvoy Park. While sketching, respondents mentioned Olde Town's antique stores --71 -

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almost without exception --indicating that the stores served the function of a quasi-museum. These stores are located along Grandview and Wadsworth. Distinctive Features When asked to list the area's distinctive features, responses were fairly uniform and generally positive. They included: Feature #/responses Historic structures 22 Antique stores 21 Olde Town Square 21 Mcilvoy Park 20 Tennis Courts @ Mcilvoy 14 View from Grandview (**particularly on July 4th) 13 Cornerstone 10 Old trees (mostly elms) 9 Empty storefronts 9(6 ) Fast food restaurants 8 Again, respondents did not necessarily know the formal names of these features. Where Is Located? --------As was true for Lynch, the Olde Town Arvada respondents appeared more knowledgeable about the area when they were asked direct questions as opposed to being asked toinitiate the dialogue. 6 This was one of the few negative responses. -72 -

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The following is a ranked list of their responses. The over-50 group was most familiar with the area. Resident were more well-v e rsed on exact locations o f s ites/ features than were the n on-residents: Sites/Features # familiar over-50 all others 1. M cilvoy Park 3 0 10 20 2. Olde Town Square 30 10 20 3 . W adsworth Blvd. 3 0 10 2 0 4. Ralston R oad 3 0 10 20 5 . Grandview Ave. 3 0 10 20 6 . Wadsworth By-Pass 29 10 19 7 . Arby's 28 9 19 8 . Water T ower 2 7 10 17 9. Taco Bell 27 9 18 10. Wes t 57th 2 7 10 17 11. C ornerstone 17 8 9 12. Re sidential District 17 10 7 13. 1st National Bank 17 10 7 14. Railroad Tracks 17 10 7 15. T elephone Building 14 8 6 16. Upham Street 14 8 6 17. Festival Playhouse 12 8 4 18. Webster Street 1 2 8 4 19. Yuk o n Street 11 8 3 20. Chamber of Commerce 1 0 7 3 21. Flour_ . l-1ill 1 0 8 2 22. St. Anne' s Church 9 8 1 23. Davis Block 8 7 1 24. Info Kiosk 7 5 2 25. Arvada Motel 4 3 1 26. Masonic Lodge 2 2 0 As indicated, less than half of the respondents knew the location/name of the area side streets (e.g. Upham, Webs ter). Area fas t foo d restaurants ranked highly on locational identi -ficatio n . And the Water Tower, the main landmark and sole piece o f public art, was identified by 2 7 of the 30 respondents ; how ever, until the tower was mentioned, no one had mentioned it as a feature o f the town. 73 -

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OLDE ARVADA key to features: a. Chamber o f Commerce b. First National Bank c. Mcilvoy Park d. Olde Town Square e. Arby's f. St Anne's Church g. Arvada Motel h. Masonic Lodge i. Olde Town Water Tower j. Telephone Company Building k. Taco Bell 1. Cornerstone m. Festival Playhouse n. Flour Mill o. Davis Block p. Infomation Kiosk q. Olde Town Residential Area r. Wadsworth Blvd. s. Ralston Road t. Yukon Street u. Webster Street v. Upham Street w. Grandview Avenue x. West 58th Avenue y. Wadsworth By-Pass z. Railroad Track s M..l.\P OF SITES/FEATURES 0 D o o l:O J Do 0 o D Do IIALSTON c=Jo CJ 0 D 0 0. t; D gl CJI c=-0 ::::J• IJ ll 0 D 0 0 J: Cornerstone 0 (under construction) 0 0 k WIT .... IWI: .. o CIJ q 0 rr=P 0 0 .. 0 []0 00 DO c --cf • ,,. [::=J & r g

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What Would the Respondents Like to See in Olde Town? Perhaps spurred by the lack of seating at the locations where I conducted these interviews, 24 of the 30 respondents would like to see more seating throughout Olde Town. Several (14) expressed the desire for benches in Mcilvoy Park. Other responses included: a stable business climate 14 better exterior/street li_ghting 11 more trees 9 area signage 8 more parking 8 facade treatments 6 bus shelters 5 a "park" (l) 2_ a restaurant 1 Interestingly, there is seating throughout Olde Town but much of it is easy to overlook --either because it is non-descript or it looks uncomfortable. There is also "area signage" -'ljCUt 1/.;z.e. Ham 1amn signage. But it fades into the backdrop of the area buildings. -75 -

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Overlays In order to add another level of analysis to this environmental profile, I compiled some of the more striking data from the preceding profiles onto overlays. Explanation of OVerlays The following two overlays represent four categories of data: 1) use of public spaces as per my observation; 2) how Olde Town is viewed as per the interviews; 3) ideal use of the area; and, 4) ideal visual impact of the area. With regard to "use of public spaces" as per my observation, limited areas of both the park and the square are actually used. However, ideally, these public spaces should be used in their entirety. The respondents to the questionnaire viewed the park, the square, the view and the historic structures of Grand-view, the trees of Grant Place, and Cornerstone as being "distinctive visual features". Upon analysis, I would add entries/exits to Olde Town, the bakery/market wall, the "non-tree-d" portion of Grant Place, and the alleyway between West 57th and Grandview as distinctive visual elements. Further explanation of the (limited) 7significance of these overlays are found in the following "Art 7 I leave it to the reader to decide if the overlays are a helpful method of analysis. For my purposes, this is a step that could have been omitted. Intuition and memory were more helpful in my analysis than were graphics of the overlay nature. -76 -

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The Art Plan

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Development of an Art Plan for Olde Town As previously mentioned, the development of the art plan for Olde Town would be the result of information culled from various sources. In order of importance, these sources include: 1) my knowledge of the area 2) responses to the survey/questionnaire 3) data from the "use" analysis, and 4) any other significant data that can be culled from the overlays. The P-lcut (!Jli_e 7cuan. consists of ten "profiles." Each profile lists a "placemaker opportunity", its relative priority with regard to a completion schedule, its location, the need/justification for such a placemakers, and artistic and performance criteria which should be considered during the design phase of each placemaker. Where applicable, examples of placemakers in other parts of the country follow the profile; these examples could be used as inspiration for the design of the Olde Town placemaker. If this plan were to be executed, the next step (after development of the plan) would be to present these profiles to competent designers. These designers would, in turn, present their designs for the placemakers to the "sponsoring organization" (i.e. either the city planning department or a private arts commission). Additional information regarding implementation of this plan can be found in a following section. -78 -

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In order of priority, this art plan includes profiles for: l) an alleyway 2) main exits from/entires to Olde Town 3) park sculpture 4) art-in-the-square 5) area signage/map 6) area lighting 7) exterior walls of the bakery and market 8) bus shelters 9) Grant Place, and 10) Grandview Avenue. The profiles follow. -79 -

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' ,.I_ " i-JI , P R 0 F I L E Placemaker Opportunity: Alleyway Priority i l Location: alley located perpendicular to Wadsworth Boulevard between W. 57th and Grandview Need/Justification: alley could serve as an outdoor museum highlighting artifacts and text that would focus attention on Olde Town's rich historical heritage; alley would be a complement to the area's antique stores Artistic and Performance Criteria: o all surfaces of the alleyway should be visually and tactilely interesting; surfaces include the pavement (which is now cement) and any overhead covering . ..__ o ideally, lighting from the alleyway should not only highlight the 11artifacts11 but should draw attention to the Olde Town Festival Playhouse which is located on Wadsworth across from the alley The Alleyway** o the alley must remain technically suitable for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in order to service the business entrances that front the alley o from a larger urban design perspective, the alley should also facilitate movement to Mcilvoy Park -perhaps being linked with Olde Town parking lots and Grant Place; this 11larger perspective11 is particularly important given that the alley terminates on its eastern end at Webster Street a street that is underutilized by pedestrians currently **Photo taken from Wadsworth Blvd., looking east. R() -

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The Chelsea Walk in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was formerly a fenced-off, refuse-laden empty alleyway. It is now a brick footpath linking Chelsea's main street with a new parking lot. The "memory wall" along one side of this walk consists of porcelain panels portraying the history and changing conditions of Chelsea. Chelsea Square Chelsea Walk was an abandoned alley before renovation. Memory Wall photo panels. -82 -

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PROFILE Placemaker Opportunity: Main Exits from/Entries to Olde Town Priority i 2 Locations: intersections of Wadsworth Blvd. and Grandview; Wadsworth Blvd. and Ralston Need/Justification: the boundaries of Olde Town are unknown to most of the people who live or visit the area Artistic and Performance Criteria: o given that Olde Town is located on a hill, this placemaker opportunity should be designed so that it is visible not only when one is passing through Olde Town but, also, when one is passing in the general vicinity o this placemaker should be visible at night o this placemaker could enhance the historical nature of the area . o residents/visitors should know --via their visual senses --that they are leaving/entering Olde Town; this placemaker opportunity could also incorporate a design feature that would appeal to the auditory senses o this placemaker should not interfere with the flow of vehicular/pedestrian traffic The intersection of Ralston and Wadswort. h Blvd. I looking north

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:--.... -EXAMPLES: City entrances to Flint ("Vehicle City"), Michigan Old Entry (this "gate" was moved to an overpass as per the picture below) New Bridge (with metal-sculpture cars --visible from both the overpass and the highway below) -84 -Intersection of Grandview and Wadsworth Blvd./ looking south (photos from the sculptor, George Greenmayer)

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P R 0 F I L E Placemaker Opportunity: Park Sculpture Priority I 3 Location: Mcilvoy Park Need/Justification: this park is a vast (1 acre) underutilized public space in need of a focus of interest Artistic and Performance Criteria: o given that this park is used most as a playing field for school children, the "sculpture" should not interfere with this use; ideally, this placemaker will serve the present users of the space as well as inviting new users o Cornerstone Shopping Center is located north of the park; therefore, this placemaker should draw attention to and from this mercantile destination o given the need for seating in the park, this placemaker could serve a utilitarian purpose o given that this park is used by children, this placemaker could be a "toy" of some sort o given that this park is not well-lit, this placemaker would ideally incorporate light o given that this park is visible from Wadsworth Blvd., this placemaker draw people from Olde Town's mainstreet to the park Mcilvoy Par k (photo taken from Ralston/ looking south)

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' • , . ', k-, , , ' I \ I ' 1 -'( 1 1 ' ' f • -ti ' I .. . • , , • . 1;;,;. , f ;'_l , ,1 , ,,. f. ..... .. , .... ; ' , T , . -------------------86 Mcilvoy Park (looking north toward Cornerstone) Cornerstone

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EXAMPLES: These undulating mosaic benches which surround Grant's Tomb in New York City serve as both sculpture and as seating. This pavement insert, located in Boston, is shaped as a hopscotch game -an ideal addition to a park frequented by children. -87 -

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P R 0 F I L E Placemaker Opportunity: Art-in-the-Square Priority # 4 Location: Olde Town Square Need/Justification: Olde Town Square --specifically the concrete plaza --is an underutilized public space; this fact is particularly significant given the Square's central location Artistic and Performance Criteria: o given the initial impetus for the construction of the Square (i.e. to design an active, inviting place) , this placemaker should encourage activities such as festivals and markets; this placemaker should also serve the needs of people who just come to sit, read, and/ or eat o this placemaker opportunity could serve multiple purposes: -as an inviting performing arts space -as area signage (see placemaker opportunity #6) -as area seating o this placemaker could be of a temporary nature (e.g. performance art, a temporary sculptural installation) -88 Olde Town Square is located at the busy intersection of W. 57th and Wadsworth Blvd.

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EXAMPLE: -89 Olde Town Square's concrete plaza is sporadically utilized. Riverwalk in Memphis, Tennessee is an authentic scaled model of the lower Mississippi River Valley; a placemaker such as this could as a draw to the plaza and as area signage. (photo courtesy of the Mississippi River Museum)

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PROFILE Placemaker Opportunity: area signage/ map Priority # 5 Location: throughout Olde Town --particularly at entrances to town, at public transporation stops, and in Olde Town Square (see placemaker opportunity #4) Need/Justification: respondents to my survey voiced a need for such a placemaker; Olde Town sidestreets are not known by the majority of residents and visitors Artistic and Performance Criteria: o "area signage" can incorporate information about upcoming events in the vicinity; Olde Town has an information kiosk (see photo below) that needs to be repaired and maintained and, perhaps, duplicated at other area locations o "area map" should, ideally, be of a permanent nature (see following examples) o this placemaker should serve pedestrians primarily and serve vehicular traffic secondarily if at all -e.g. area signage kiosks should be visible from a car yet "information" need only be legible to an interested pedestrian -e.g. area map, similarly, should be noticable from a vehicle but need be legible to only a pedestrian o this placemaker --specifically the area map -should be safe for pedestrians when the "art" is wet (some cities have had to remove inlaid public art that became sli the rain) Olde Town Information Kiosk (located adjacent to Olde Town Square) Q() -

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-91 Pavement inlays can serve as maps of the entire area. These maps can demarcate both streets and special attractions . Manhole covers in Seattle are cast with a stylized map of the city's streets

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PROFILE Placemaker Opportunity: area lighting Priority # 6 Location: throughout Olde Town Need/Justification: respondents to my survey voiced a need; the area --particularly the sidestreets --is very after sundown Artistic and Performance Criteria: o the existing light standards (see picture below) are aesthetically-pleasing but too few in n umber; any new standards should complement those that do exist o this placemaker can serve multi-purposes: -foremost, as a source of illumination -as a complement to area signage (see p icture below) -as a focus of interest for Olde Town with regard to the surrounding area (i.e. given Olde Town's hilltop location, illumination could serve as a "drawing card" to the area at night --see placemaker opportunity #1). Olde Town Standard

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P R 0 F I L E Placemaker Opportunity: exterior walls of the bakery and market Priority i 7 Location: just off Wadsworth Boulevard and Grant Place (see picture below) Need/Justification: these two facing exterior walls are visually bland; they flank a pedestrian and vehicular driveway making them highly visible Artistic and Performance Criteria: o ideally, the walls should be used for some type of mural although three-dimensional placemakers could be considered o the driveway terminates at an alley; therefore, this placemaker could continue up the alley to the streets that flank each end (i.e. w. 57th and Ralston) o in order to avoid over-emphasis of the historical heritage of the area, this placemaker should celebrate present day Olde Town o given that these exterior walls are part o f commercial buildings, this placemaker must respect the nature of the resident businesses perhaps by illustrating the essence of a bakery and market -93 -This driveway is used by both vehicles and pedestrians

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'>.. .._ , •. .-;: ... -94 I J The wall of the market The wall of the bakery --note the alley

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EXAMPLES: -95 -This mural in Cambridge, Massachusetts is painted on the side of a furniture company. While historical in intent, this "nautical scene" celebrates the present day existence of the Charles River. This Palo Alto, California trompe l'oeil mural so accurately depicts a pedestrian and her bird that passers-by are often confused as to where the painting ends and reality begins.

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P R 0 F I L E Placemaker Opportunity: bus shelters Priority i 8 Location: at area Regional Transporatation District busstops Need/Justification: respondents to my survey voiced a need for shelters; the busstop is, for many visitors, their only impression of Olde Town Artistic and Performance Criteria: o this placemaker should serve multi-purposes: -as aethetic enhancement -as shelter from the elements -as a location for area signage -as an area landmark. EXAMPLE: -96 -Bus shelters can be sculptural elements.

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P R 0 F I L E Placemaker Opportunity: Grant Place Priority i 9 Location: street running parallel between W. 57th and Ralston Need/Justification: Grant Place is Olde Town's only residential street; it serves as the spine from Wadsworth to Mcllvoy Park Artistic and Performance Criteria: o this placemaker should encourage both pedestrian and vehicular traffic to and from Mcilvoy Park and Olde Town's commercial area without disturbing the quiet nature of the neighborhood o this placemaker could enhance the street's existing arbor o given that Grant Place is used most often by school children, this placemaker should respect their needs o given that the configuration of the houses, buildings, and trees on the street often creates/emphasizes a noticable breeze, this placemaker could be of a wind-response kinetic nature -97 -View of Grant Place from Mcilvoy Park looking west

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PROFILE Placemaker Opportunity: Grandview Avenue Priority i 10 Location: street delineating southern edge of Olde Town Need/Justification: while this street is named for its atone-time 11grand view11, this visual heritage has been lost Artistic and Performance Criteria: o while street light standards, landscaping, and pavement detailing (see picture below) add visual interest to Grandview, the panoramic view to the south is obstructed by overgrown shrubbery and warehouse structures o this placemaker should, at least, create a view corridor to the south and/or west and, at best, open up the entire panoramic view -realizing, realistically, that no buildings will be razed for a placemaker View from Grandview looking southwest View from Grandview looking southeast -98 -

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The Process of Prioritizing The process of prioritizing these profiles was largely intuitive --intuition which was based on logic and on my knowledge of the area. In order to understand my ordering of the profiles, it may be helpful to group the ten profiles into four main phases. These would include: 1st, the alleyway -a project that could encompass a number of features --pavement treatment, historical, interesting lighting and, by virtue of its scope, would serve as a good demonstration project; 2nd, exits/entries -with the combination of the existing positive attributes and the 'completed new alleyway', Olde Town can now celebrate its portals; 3rd, park sculpture, art-in-the-square, area signage/ map, area lighting, exterior bakery/market walls, and bus shelters -are all common art-in-publicplaces/placemaker projects and, therefore, would be the logical next step; and, 4th, Grant Place and Grandview Avenue -two streetscaping opportunities that are larger in scale that the previous eight placemakers and, therefore, are best left for last. Suggestions for implementation of this plan follow. -99 -

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Suggestions for Implementation of the Art Plan With the preceding profile or profiles in hand, a designer could begin to execute a model for the placemaker (s). But, upon examination.of previous placemaking projects (e.g. in Seattle, Washington or Cambridge, Massachusetts), it becomes apparent that a few matters need to be dealt with before any actual designing should be undertaken. In order to implement this or any art plan, three things are needed: a sponsoring organization, designers, and money. The following are some suggestions for acquiring all three. A Sponsoring Organization First, while some placemaking projects occur under the auspices of governmental agencies, it is often more effective to use an existini art ogranization or to set up a non-profit organization charged with overseeing the project(s). A non-profit organization with both public and private contacts, such as the Townscape Institute in Cambridge, can be the most effective advocate/ organizer of placemaking projects; it can offer the freedom of selection (of work and designers) that is not always possible in a political setting while maintaining ties with the power base that is associated with a governmental body. 100 -

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Once the sponsoring organization is in place, the community (i.e. the residents and local merchants) need to be briefed as to the findings of the individual or group who conducted the art plan case study. Part of this briefing should include the plan to commission designers who will be doing the work and/or how will they be selected. It is important to keep the community involved for two reasons: 1) it is community and the people have a right to be informed; and, 2) if the community (or any portion of the community) senses that a public space project is being undertaken without its approval, these people can and typically will join forces to stop the project. Therefore, it is not only fair to keep the people informed, it is "good politics." Designers On the basis of previous related work, designers should be personally commissioned or be invited to participate in a paid competition. No design work should be done "gratis" if placemaking is to become institutionalized. 101 -

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Once chosen, the designer(s) can begin designing. However, the sponsoring organization whould develop a design process which incorporates community input at various stages. In the case of Olde Town, the sponsoring organization could display models of the proposed designs in one of the area's empty storefronts; "town meetings" could then be held to discuss each design. Finally, it should be remembered that indigenous talent should be used whenever possible. Artistic and administrative personnel who are from a community will typically be better received by the community and will have knowledge that will help them in their work. However, given the small size of an area such as Olde Town, locating such indigenous talent may be impossible; therefore, importing talent would be justifiable. Financing Typically, art-in-public-places/placemaking project dollars are generated from some sort of tax levied on goods and/or services sold within that community. In a district as economically-depressed as Olde Town, any additional tax would not be welcome. Therefore, the sponsoring organization will need to rely on private sector funding. Sources of these funds would include grants, donations of cash, goods, and services, and revenue from special fund-raising events. 102 -

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These events, if held in Olde Town, could serve both economic and community development ends. Activities such as festivals, weekend markets, and fund-raising dinners would generate both cash and a sense of belonging. Finally ... Once the sponsoring organization is in place, designers and designs have been approved, and secured, construction can begin. N.B. Recently, I was able to raise $190,000 for a country-wide public art project; funds were secured as a result of a "chain letter-type" of solicitation. There is untapped private sector support for public art projects. 103 -

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Efficacy of the Methodology of this Study As outlined in the section of this report entitled "History of this Project", this "thesis" has evolved somewhat dramatically since the initial concept of "the economics of amenities in Olde Town" came to mind. For me, the present evolution of this paper was an opportunity to experiment with some ideas (e.g. using Whyte-and Lynch-inspired methodology to create an environmental profile) on a scale suitable for a master's-level report. This study was also an opportunity to examine the area in which I spent 25 years. With these two criteria for "success" in mind, (i.e. experimentation and examination), this paper met my expectations. But for someone who might use this paper as a model for another project, I offer the following caveats: First, much of the interpretation of data in this report was based on my own intuition and, as such, is not fully documented. For example, there is a leap of faith in my suggestion that "The Alleyway" is a valid placemaker opportunity and one which should be undertaken first. Someone else could effectively argue that "The Alleyway" is a silly expenditure of limited resources and that all efforts should go into a redesign of Mcilvoy Park. And, of course, 104 -

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there is always someone who will argue that art is a waste of money under any circumstances. But I that "The Alleyway is a good initial idea and I would be persuaded otherwise only by a very eloquent, thoughtful argument. Secondly, my Whyte-and Lynch-like analyses would be, if done by someone less familiar with the area, spurious at best (and, likewise, would be accurate if completed by someone more familiar with Olde Town). Perhaps, ideally, sample sizes should have been increased and the "viewing times" of public spaces made more frequent. One could also use time-lapse photography, if the expense of time and money could be justified. However, for purposes of this study, my methodology and intuitive knowledge expedited the study without sacrificing any vital data. Thirdly, a personal bias which might not be readily apparent to the reader is my experience that anything is possible if one is willing to invest the time and resources. The criterion for deciding whether or not I will involve myself in a project is not can it be done but should it be done ---is the porject worthwhile and can I realistically fit it into my schedule? Finally, in the works of Jose Arguelles, a Boulder-based art historian, " •.• everyone is potentially an artist." 105 -

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Therefore, "good design" should not be treated as the exception; rather, "bad design" is the aberration and should not be as readily accepted as is the present case. 106 -

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The General Issue of Placemaking --A Conclusion According to Webster's Dictionary, the term "integration" means '' ... the incorporation of otherwise fragmented units into a whole." The concept of integration, as outlined in a previous section of "placemaker as community catalyst," is key to the general issue of placemaking as well. Fragmentation Society is fragmented. Within that larger fragmentation are professionals who interact from often opposing camps. Design education, as is true in other areas, is not the multi-disciplinary experience it could be. And when it comes down to the built environment, this fragmentation is expressed in designs of limited coherence (in relation to its surroundings) --in places that mirror a fundamental disorientation within society. Much of this fragmentation is dismissed as a natural course of events in a pluralistic society. But the "us v. them" stances throughout history have not reaped anything of worth. The White Horse Along comes the "white horse of public art", a savior with a prehistoric antecedent if one accepts 107 -

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.... cave drawings as public art. And it was hoped that this art could add beauty to impoverished architecture, add life to dead environments. But, from the beginning, much of public art became a forum for a limited vision --often of one wealthy, powerful person. Later, public art became a focus for philanthropic souls and government bureaucrats who wanted to deal with "pretty things." Meanwhile, a group of wise and kind people see how public art is sometimes being used for these selfish ends; they, therefore, create a category of public art called "placemakers" --art that responds to and enhances the places people inhabit, art that won't result from selfish visions or intentions. These placemakers will help to integrate the social-economic-aesthetic needs of a community. But one still must be cautious. Intentions Using art as a community catalyst is a technique used by both people who care about the collective spirit of a place as well as by those who want to coalesce people in order to exercise their own power. Using art as an economic development tool is a technique used by intelligent people who understand that the base of any economy is a man-made formation and not a mysterious act-of-God. However, some -1 nQ -

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people would call the "golden arches" art if the presence of McDonald's would meet their short-(relatively speaking)-term goals. And, using art for aesthetic purposes is a technique used by both people who understand that is more resource-effective to make something "beautiful" than to make it "non-beautiful". Art is also used by people who mobilize aesthetic embellishment as a smokescreen --as a way to avoid the unpleasantness of life. Therefore, when dealing with art-in-publicplaces/placemakers, one must evaluate the intentions of the many creators --the administrators, and supporters alike. Then, if the passes the test of sincerity, then its presence (in terms of process and being) will serve to bring humanity one step closer to wholeness. 109 -

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APPENDICES

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APPENDIX "A" Sex COMMUNITY Interview -------Age _______ _ Resident ---How long? 1. Draw a quick sketch map of Olde Town showing the most interesting and important features, and giving a stranger enough knowledge to move about without too much difficulty. 2. Make a similar sketch of the route and events along one or two imaginary trips chosen to expose the length and breadth of the area. 3. Make a list of the parts of Olde Town felt to be most distinctive. (on separate sheet) 4. Where is located? a. Chamber of Commerce b. First National Bank c. Mcilvoy Park d. Olde Town Square e. Arby's f. St Anne's Church g. Arvada Motel h. Masonic Lodge i. Olde Town Water Tower j. Telephone Company Building k. Taco Bell 1. Cornerstone m. Festival Playhouse n. Flour Mill o. Davis Block p. Infomation Kiosk q. Olde Town Residential District r. Wadsworth Blvd. s. Ralston Road t. Yukon Street u. Webster Street v. Upham Street w. Grandview Avenue x. West 58th Avenue y. Wadsworth By-Pass z. Railroad Tracks 5. What would you like to see in Olde Town with regard to "amenities"? COMMENTS:

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CJ 0 D 0 D D D 61 CJ . _ ... -!...--"" . T APPENDIX . "B" The Unlabeled Map

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.A2:;?ENDIX "C" "The Boulder Arts & Crafts" is a Cooperative of 70 fine artists and craftspeople. Each artist helps to staff the shop, share in its management and supply the store with their own handcrafted works. Since 1971, this Cooperative has enabled clients to work directly with artisans, eliminating the middleman, thus offering greater values and a more richly unique selection of all original work. * * *

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BIBLIOGRAPHY re: Economics of Cultural Amenities Green, Kevin, Editor. The City as a Stage: Strategies for the Arts in Urban Economics. Partners for Livable Places. 1983. McNulty, Robert H .• The Economics of Amenity: Community Futures and the Quality of Life. Partners for Livable Places. 1985. Page, Clint and. Penelope Cliff, Editors. Negotiating for Amenities: Zonin and Mana ement Tools that Build Livable Cities. Partners for Places. 82. Perloff, Harvey S .• The Arts in the Economic Life of the City. National Endowment for the Arts and the Shell Companies Foundation. 1979. Porter, Robert, Editor. The Arts and City Planning. American Council for the Arts. 1980. Von Eckhardt, Wolf. Live the Good Life! a Human Community through the Arts. National Endowment for the Arts and the Shell Companies Foundation. 1982. re: Places as Art, Placemaking, and Public Art Beardsley, John. Earthworks and Beyond: Contemporary Art in the Landscape. Abbeville Press. 1984. Beardsley, John. A Landscape for Modern Sculpture: Storm King Art Center. Abbeville Press. 1985. Diamonstein, Barbaralee, Editor. Collaboration: Artists and Architects. Architectural League (whitney Library of Design and Watson). 1981. Fleming, Ronald Lee and Renata Von Tscharner. Placemakers: Creating Public Art that Tells You Where You Are. HBJ Publishers, Boston. 1987. Fundaburk, Emma -Lila and Thomas G. Davenport. Art in Public Places in the United States. Bowling Green University Popular Press, Ohio. 1975. Harris, Stacy Paleologos, Editor. Insights/On Sites: Perspectives on Art in Public Places. Partners for Livable Places. l984. Lipske, Mike. Places as Art. Publishing Center for Cultural Resources. l985. re: Cultural Facilities Brown, Catherine, William Fleissig, .and .william Morrish. Building for theArts: A Guidebook for the Planning and Design of a Cultural Facility. Western States Arts Foundation. l984. National Endowment for the Arts. The Arts in Found Places. Washington, D.C .. 1976. Snedcof, Harold. Cultural Facilities in Mixed-Use Development. Urban Land 1985.

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re: Urban Design Fleming, Ronald Lee. Facade Stories: Changing Faces of Main Street Storefronts and How to Care for Them. Townscape Institute, Inc. Cambridge, MA. 1982. Fleming, Ronald Lee and Lauri A. Halderman. On Common Ground: Carin for Shared Land from Town Common to Urban Park. Harvard Common Press. Cambri ge, MA. 1982. Halprin, Lawrence. Cities. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA. 1972. Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA. 1960. Lynch, Kevin. A Theory of Good City Form. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA. l98l. McHarg, Ian L .. Design with Nature. Doubleday/Natural History Press, NY. 1969. Whyte, William H .. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. The Conservation Foundation. Washington, D.C .. 1980. re: Goverment Arvada Historical Society. Arvada, Just Between You and Me. Johnson Publishing Company, Boulder. 1985. Arvada Planning Department. Downtown Turnaround. Arvada Planning Department. 1977. Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities. Art in Places. (brochure --self-published). 1987. Commission on Cultural Affairs. Inventory and Condition Assessment -Public Art Collection. city and County of Denver. 1987. re: Public/Private Sector Publications Beardsley, John. Art in Public Places. Partners for Livable Places. Washington, D.C •. 1980. . . . . . Sandler, Irving. A Report on Public Art to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. National Endow --ment for the Arts. Washington, D.C .. 1973.