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Full text of "Your town : designing its future : a rural community design workshop and follow-up case studies"



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IN MY TRAVELS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES as Chairman of 

the National Endowment for the Arts, I have been struck over and over again by how important the arts 
are to the lives of our communities. That is particularly clear in small towns and rural communities whose 
natural beauty, history, and traditional arts celebrate their survival in the face of extraordinary changes in 
our nations — fact, the world's— economy. 

When I visited Nebraska, home of my grandfather, Daniel Quigley, Buffalo Bill's personal physician, 
I reflected on the role that the sheer size and variety of our landscape played in shaping our culture. The 
arts convey a sense of place, whether in a song of the mountains or the Blues from the Delta, a native 
American hoop dance or a Mariachi band, a quilt or lace, a play or a festival. 

Through several initiatives at the Endowment, I have sought to highlight how the arts can contribute 
to the quality of life in our rural communities. We have worked with the Department of Agriculture's 
National Rural Development Partnership to underscore the role of the arts in rural community develop- 
ment. Through partnerships with the Forest Service and the National Park Service, we have supported an 
exciting variety of arts-based rural community development projects. With Partners in Tourism, an alliance 
of national cultural service organizations, we have worked to stimulate cultural/heritage tourism through- 
out the nation. Through our regular grantmaking programs and through our partners, the state arts agen- 
cies, we continue to provide support for the arts in rural communities. And, each year, we honor folk and 
traditional artists across our land — many from rural areas — with our Heritage Awards. 

I am proud of all the Endowment's efforts to serve rural America. Your Town: Designing Its Future is 
our best effort to help small towns and rural communities understand the importance of design and iden- 
tify resources to help them preserve their heritage and identity while expanding their economy. We, at the 
Endowment, are grateful for the fine work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in this important 
task, and we look forward to continuing this service to rural America. 




Jane Alexander, 

Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts 





ARIZONA -~ 
RANGE NEWS 




TABLE OF CONTENTS 



FORWARD 1 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 2 

PREFACE 3 

INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TOWN 5 

CASE STUDIES 

ANACONDA, MONTANA 10 

QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 14 

MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA 20 

MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 25 

CONCLUSION 31 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 33 

WHERE TO GET DESIGN ASSISTANCE 34 

LIST OF YOUR TOWN: DESIGNING ITS FUTURE WORKSHOPS HELD TO DATE 35 







YOf TB TOWN* 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



FORWARD 



four Town: Designing Its Future is a program of workshops to teach rural community leaders about the 
importance of design in planning. Developed by the Rural Heritage Program of the National Trust for 
Historic Preservation and the Faculty of Landscape Architecture at the State University of New York at 
Syracuse, Your Town has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts since 1991. By 1997 fifteen 
Your Town workshops had been produced around the country, and at least four more will take place in 1998. 
Nearly 440 participants from thirty-eight states have attended the workshops. 

This publication introduces you to the Your Town program and describes some of its successes through 
four case-study communities. Each of the rural towns highlighted sent one or more participants to a Your 
Town workshop and as a result experienced real changes in the appearance, morale, and dynamics of the 
community. The four case studies illustrate that the Your Town program can have long-term, significant 
impacts — both on the participants who attend the workshops and on the communities in which they work 
and live. 



DESIGNING ITS FUTURE 




FORWARD 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



... 




Our thanks to Jane Alexander, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, for the Endowment's 
steady support of the Your Town program. In addition we gratefully acknowledge the staff of the 
Endowment who participated in the workshops over the years: Jeff Soule, Alan Brangman, Wendy Clark, 
and Samina Quraeshi. Thanks, too, to Tony Tighe, the current Your Town Endowment project director. 

At the National Trust for Historic Preservation Susan Kidd and Marilyn Fedelchak Harley initiated the 
original Your Town proposals. Peter Brink, vice president for Programs, Services and Information, has been 
a supporter of the workshops. At the State University of New York at Syracuse Scott Shannon has been 
involved in the Your Town program from its inception. He designed the Your Town logo, newsletter and 
notebook, and developed the mapping and graphics elements of the workshop. 

Many thanks to the coordinators and faculty of our cooperating regional institutions: the Department 
of Planning, Arizona State University; the School of Environmental Design, University of Georgia; the 
Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning, Kansas State University; the 
Faculty of Landscape Architecture, State University of New York, Syracuse; and the Historic Preservation 
League of Oregon and School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon. These institutions have 
helped spread the workshops around the country while preserving the original quality and integrity of the 
program. Thanks, too, to the special keynote speakers, guest lecturers, and small-group facilitators who con- 
tributed their time and expertise. Most of all, our thanks go to the workshop participants — unfailingly 
enthusiastic and creative — who really make Your Town: Designing Its Future work. 



Richard Hawks 

Chair, Faculty of Landscape Architecture 

State University of New York, Syracuse 



Shelley S. Mastran 

Director, Rural Heritage Program 

National Trust for Historic Preservation 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



PREFACE 



America's rural communities are at risk from large-scale changes in the national economy, population 
kmovements, the impact of telecommunications and mass merchandising, and changes in land-use pol- 
icy. Some rural towns — particularly those in the northern Great Plains, the Mississippi Delta, and central 
Appalachia — are experiencing a loss of population and jobs; others — especially ones near metropolitan areas 
and in parts of the West and South — are coping with rapid growth from suburban sprawl, tourism, or an 
influx of a retirement population. 

In the face of these forces rural communities struggle to maintain their sense of identity and quality of 
life. They initiate economic-development strategies, plan heritage-tourism programs, or enact new zoning 
ordinances in an effort to control the forces of change. Yet all too often these endeavors are undertaken with- 
out a comprehensive vision of community design. The forces affecting change in the rural landscape do not 
inevitably signal the loss of the qualities that define community character and make rural areas attractive 
places to live and work. Design solutions can make the difference between community survival or decay and 
prosperity or decline. Yet rural areas in general do not have ready access to sources of design assistance or 
information about design applications to their problems. Furthermore, the assistance that is available is usu- 
ally very focused — on commercial revitalization, environmental quality, or affordable housing, for exam- 
ple — and does not deal comprehensively with the range of design issues facing rural communities. 

The Your Town: Designing Its Future workshops were developed to address these issues. They focus on 
the process of design as an important aspect of community spirit and community integrity. The workshops 
aim specifically to introduce rural technical-assistance providers and rural decision makers to the role of 
design in community planning. "Community" is conceived of here in a broad sense — to include the built 
environment, the surrounding landscape that supports the community economically and gives it a sense of 
place, and the people who live there. Your Town encourages rural residents to think comprehensively about 
their communities and to design their futures based on that comprehensive vision. The workshops stress the 
importance of design in defining quality of life and the notion that design is not a luxury or an afterthought, 
but an integral part of community well-being. Indeed, Your Town teaches that design is not just an effect of 
community vitality but a cause as well: Design itself is a tool for effecting change. 



PREFACE 



INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TOWN 



BACKGROUND 



The Rural Heritage Program of the National Trust has been interested in community design issues 
since the program's inception in 1979. In the early 1980s National Trust staff worked on rural 
demonstration projects in Oley Pennsylvania, and Cazenovia, New York, helping local residents to 
evaluate their natural and cultural resources, articulate a vision for their community, and prioritize goals and 
objectives for designing the community's future. In Cazenovia the National Trust worked with the Faculty 
of Landscape Architecture at the State University of New York in Syracuse to deliver a "short course" on 
rural conservation containing many of the elements that appear in the Your Town curriculum. 

The origins of Your Town lie in plans prepared by the National Trust in the late 1980s to develop a pilot 
training program to assist regional and community leaders in developing growth-management strategies to 
protect America's historic countryside. In August 1990 the National Endowment for the Arts issued a 
request for proposals to structure an initiative to respond to the design needs of small towns and rural com- 
munities, including both growth-management issues and economic revitalization. The Endowment selected 
the National Trust's proposal, and Your Town was born. 

Specifically, this initiative was to provide a forum for rural technical-assistance providers to share their 
professional skills and learn new design techniques that would aid them in their work with rural commu- 
nities. The idea was to "train the trainers" as a way to spread design assistance efficiently and effectively. A 
suggested format was a series of participatory workshops that would start to build a network of technical- 
assistance providers around the country. The proposal submitted by the National Trust for Historic Preser- 
vation in cooperation with the Faculty of Landscape Architecture at the State University of New York 
(SUNY) at Syracuse resulted in a cooperative agreement with the Endowment signed in December 1990. 

The National Trust and SUNY developed a model education program for rural design as a series of 
regional workshops. The participants were to be recruited from federal, state, and regional governmental 
agencies, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit corporations that provide technical assistance to rural com- 
munities, as well as local business leaders, elected officials, and community volunteers. The workshops 
consisted of lectures, discussions, case studies, exercises, problem solving, and network development. 



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THE WORKSHOPS ARE INTENSE YET 
FUN IN TWO DAYS TEAMS MUST 
DEVELOP AND PRESENT THEIR 
VISION OF YOUR TOWN'S FUTURE 



INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TOWN 



THE GOALS OF THE YOUR TOWN WORKSHOPS WERE: 



WORKSHOP HISTORY 



COMMUNITIES ARE TRYING TO 

AVOID THE UNDIFFERENTIATED 

SUBURBAN SPRAWL THAT 

HAS ENGULFED MUCH OF 

THE COUNTRY. 



To raise consciousness of the role of design 
in rural communities 
To equip participants with the tools and 
techniques to identify, protect, and 
enhance their towns and landscapes 
To improve the working methods and 
relationships of those who are already pro- 
viding assistance to rural areas on design 
and community-development issues 
To learn the fundamentals of the design 
process 

To apply the design process to rural 
community problems and enhance the 
ability to develop effective solutions; and 
To provide a forum for rural technical- 
assistance providers to share their profes- 
sional skills and exchange ideas and 
experiences with rural communities. 




From 1991 to 1993 the National Trust and 
SUNY produced three regional Your Town work- 
shops (Bozeman, Montana; Nashville, Tennessee; 
and Prescott, Arizona). Brochures announcing the 
first workshop were distributed widely. Participants 
applied and were chosen through a competitive 
process. Nearly seventy-five people attended the 
Montana workshop at the historic Gallatin Gate- 
way Inn in Bozeman; participants paid tuition, 
room, board, and transportation to attend. 

Procedures for subsequent workshops changed 
— largely in an effort to reach out to residents of 
rural communities who were unable to afford the 
costs of a three-day workshop. Potential partici- 
pants were identified in advance through the assis- 
tance of the state historic preservation offices, 
statewide preservation organizations, statewide 
Main Street programs, and other organizations. In 
addition participants were sought from the U.S. 
Forest Service, the Resources Conservation and 
Development agency (RC&D) of the Natural 
Resources Conservation Service, the Extension 
Service, and other agencies of the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. Potential participants were 
then invited to submit applications, from which 
approximately thirty were selected. The room, 
board, and tuition of each participant were fully 
subsidized; participants simply had to fund their 
own transportation to the workshop site. 

Before the first Your Town in Montana it was 
decided that the workshops must take place in 
special rural settings — places that both conveyed a 
strong message about good design and provided 
the atmosphere of a retreat where participants 
would not be distracted from the learning experi- 
ence. Finding such places has often been a chal- 
lenge, but most Your Town workshops have taken 



INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TOWN 



place in particularly memorable rural settings. 
Among such special places are the Hachland Hill 
Vineyard between Nashville and Clarksville, 
Tennessee — a log-cabin retreat; Silver Falls State 
Park at the foot of the Cascade Mountains in 
Oregon; Wells College on the shore of Cayuga 
Lake in New York; Unicoi State Park in the moun- 
tains of north Georgia; and the Hassayampa 
Inn, a rehabilitated historic hotel in downtown 
Prescott, Arizona. 

Each Your Town workshop is highly labor- 
intensive and is specially structured to meet the 
needs of a regional audience. After the first round 
of three workshops it was determined that, for the 
sake of efficiency, the workshop delivery system 
should be expanded to accommodate a broader 
range of participants in a given year and to 
enhance the provision of follow-up technical assis- 
tance to rural communities. Selected institutions 
with design expertise were asked to submit pro- 
posals to produce Your Town workshops. Five were 
ultimately selected: 

the Faculty of Landscape Architecture at the 
State University of New York at Syracuse 
the School of Environmental Design at 
the University of Georgia 

► the Department of Landscape Architec- 
ture/Regional and Community Planning 
at Kansas State University 

► the Department of Planning at Arizona 
State University; and 

► the Historic Preservation League of Oregon 
with the School of Architecture and Allied 
Arts at the University of Oregon 

Shelley Mastran, director of the Rural Heritage 
Program of the National Trust, and Richard Hawks, 
chair of the Faculty of Landscape Architecture at 
SUNY, continued to monitor and orchestrate the 



workshops and provide core curriculum and histor- 
ical experience as the National Your Town Center, 
while the five regional centers actually produced the 
workshops. In this way, multiple workshops were 
produced in the same period of time. 

WORKSHOP FORMAT AND DESIGN 

A Your Town workshop takes place over a period of 
two and a half days with an intense schedule that 
allows little time for diversions and distractions. 
The curriculum focuses on the process by which 
rural communities construct a vision about their 
future, evaluate their natural and cultural assets, 
and implement decisions about how their com- 
munity should look and function. The aim is 
not to promote specific answers to specific ques- 
tions but, rather, a framework for problem solving. 
Materials are presented in a highly visual format, 
principally through slides and maps. Workshop 
course material covers the following topics: 

Design Changes in Rural America: The 
Forces at Work -an overview of the major 
forces that are affecting the rural landscape 
of America 

► The Design Process -the process by which 
design decisions are made and implemented; 
the key design concepts behind good 
community planning 

► Natural and Cultural Resources Inventory 
and Analysis - an appreciation of the 
broad range of natural and cultural 
resources that define community charac- 
ter; how to inventory and evaluate a 
community's natural and cultural resources 

► Getting and Managing Design Assistance 
- resources for design assistance; the 
process of assessing design needs and solic- 
iting and managing assistance 





M^r,V/We. 






THE WORKSHOPS ARE SERIOU 
THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR 
SOME PLAYFUL CREATIVITY. 



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INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TOWN 



Your Town 

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WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE 

EXTENSIVE NOTEBOOKS THAT 

BECOME VALUAB.LE REFERENCES 

WHEN THEY RETURN HOME. 

AT RIGHT: THE WORKSHOP 

SCHEDULE IS A "JAM-PACKED" 

THREE DAY EXPERIENCE. 




Case-Study Panels — success 
stories in using the design 
process to solve local prob- 
lems or address special 
resources; a discussion of 
economic-development, 
planning, and design issues 
Graphics and Commu- 
nication — a hands-on 
workshop in graphics tech- 
niques and mapping 
• Your Town Problem-Solving — a small- 
group exercise in applying the design 
process to real-world problems framed for 
a hypothetical town; using a series of maps 
and other information about the town, the 
groups work toward solutions, which they 
map, illustrate, and present to the other 
groups for discussion 
All workshop participants receive a notebook 
that provides abstracts and illustrations from each 
of the lectures and presentations. Specially tailored 
to each individual workshop, the notebook is 
designed to provide a ready reference throughout 
the workshop. 

The most critical component of the Your 
Town workshop is the problem-solving exercise 
that simulates the design process itself. A hypo- 
thetical "Your Town," modeled on a real town of 
the region, is devised with maps, a data base, and 
slides. Problems that pertain to typical rural com- 
munities are posed — for example, a proposed 
bypass around the town; a proposed subdivision 
on the perimeter of the community; abandoned 
historic buildings; insufficient greenways, parks, 
and open space; and deteriorating downtowns. 
The problem-solving exercise provides a forum for 
sharing ideas and creative thinking about ways to 



solve common problems that many of the partici- 
pants already face at home. Yet, because the exer- 
cise is hypothetical, it releases participants from 
the pressure of everyday politics and naysaying 
and stimulates their creative thinking. Workshop 
participants generally become very involved in the 
problem-solving exercise, sometimes staying up 
late into the last night to work on solutions. 
Participants are encouraged to develop graphic 
solutions for all of the problems posed — with the 
understanding that words alone are of limited 
value in communicating design ideas. A typical 
workshop schedule is illustrated below. 

















Workshop Schedule - Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 


October 29-NovMaber 








Breakfast 


Breakfast 




7:00 am 




8:00 am 




Graphics, Mapping & 
Communicating Design 

<is mm - Laurel McSherrv 


Managing & Getting Design 
Assistance -4$ mm 
- Linda Harper 






Graphic ContnvntcarJon 
Workshop- -75 nun, 
- Staff w/ Small Groups 


Break 


Breakfast 


9:00 am 


Case Study Panel -w mm. 

Moderator- JeffSoule 
Paneluu- Linda Harper 
Dan Mamott 
David Taylor 






Break 




10:00 am 




Natural & Cultural 
Resources: Lecture 

45 mm -S Shannon St. B Szczygicl 




Yoor Town Wortuhflp- 
- Staff w/ Small Groups 




11:00 am 




Natural & Cultural Resources: 
Reading the Pennsylvania 
Landscape • Field Trip B0 u 

- Gerry Depo 

- Bill Brobst 

- Scott Shannon 

- Bonj Szczygiel 
Box luri.-.h aa Held Hip 




12:00 pm 


Registration -60 mm. 


Working 1 . u n-. h 




1:00 pm 


lull i»hi. Him & Opening 
Comments - 30 mm 


Intro to Your Town - 30 mm 

- Scott Shannon 


Year Town Workshop 

-5256m Mat 

- Staff w/ Small Groups 




Changes in Rural America: 
Tbe Forces al Work .45 mm 

- Emanuel Carter 


Your Town Workshop 

• am. 

* Swff W Small Groups 




2:00 pm 




Break 




The Design Process • l hi 
- Cheryl Doble 




3:00 pm 


Project Set-op » ma. 




Small Croup Mtg. & 
Intros- 

-90 mm 

- Staff w/ Small Groups 


Comment & Review of 
Team Projects 90 mm 
- Your Town Faculty 




4:00 pm 




5:00 pm 


Free Time 


Free Time 


Free Time 




6:00 pm 


Informal Dinner 


Dinner - Course Evalua- 
tions & Closing Remarks 

- Jeff Soule - CRP 

- Shelley Mastran - NTHP 

■ Scott Shannon • YTNE 




Dinner - 

Welcome 

- Town of Bloomsburg 

- Bloomsburg University 
Keynote Address 

- Thomas Hyllon 




7:00 pm 




Your Town Workshop 

-2bu~ 

- Staff wy Small Groups 


- Shmooziug 




Evening 











INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TOWN 



WORKSHOP SUCCESS 

From the very first workshop in Montana Your 
Town hit a positive chord among most of the par- 
ticipants, providing something that was simply 
not available elsewhere. For many the Your Town 
experience has been exciting and inspirational — 
offering contacts with new people, creative ideas, 
examples of real community successes, and mod- 
els of a design process that could be successfully 
applied to their own community issues. 

Follow-up evaluations of Your Town work- 
shops have taken place over the years in an effort 
to determine the long-term impact that the pro- 
gram may have had. From these evaluations we 
have learned that, at least for many participants, 
the Your Town experience was influential and con- 
tinues to guide their work. Lexie McDaniel of 
Scottsville, Kentucky, for example, used the tenets 
of Your Town in forming a planning and zoning 
commission and in developing a renovation plan 
for Scottsville's downtown. Lexie's professional 
growth was enhanced as a result of the workshop: 
"I have been able to share what I learned at Your 
Town — to see the big picture, not just one project 
at a time." Curtis Arrington, who considered 
himself an untrained amateur in the realm of 
planning, became the chair of a committee 
responsible for writing the first general plan for 
Payson City, Utah. Curtis thanks Your Town for 
teaching him how to establish goals and how to 
follow a process to achieve them. 

The Your Town program has been acknowl- 
edged for its achievements in the field of plan- 
ning and design. In 1996 Your Town received a 
Professional Honors Award from the American 
Society of Landscape Architects and in 1997 the 
Public Education Award from the American 
Planning Association. 



As a way to document the long-term suc- 
cesses of the Your Town program the National 
Your Town Center sought to identify communities 
where former workshop participants had been able 
to bring about significant changes since attending 
Your Town. Several surveys of former participants 
revealed that many of them continue to regard the 
workshop experience as influential in their lives 
and are working to carry out the principles they 
learned. Several dozen participants reported that 
Your Town affected their work "completely." From 
these participants four case studies were chosen 
that exemplify the goals of the workshops: to make 
design an important tool in the enhancement of 
the quality of life in rural communities. 

The case studies are: 

Anaconda, Montana 

Queen Creek, Arizona 

Montezuma, Georgia 

Morrisville, New York 




RICHARD MOE, PRESIDENT OF 
THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR 
HISTORICAL PRESERVATION AND 
JANE ALEXANDER, CHAIR OF 
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT 
OF THE ARTS, RECEIVING THE 
AWARD FROM THE AMERICAN 
PLANNING ASSOCIATION. 



INTRODUCTION TO YOUR TOWN 



HBPrar*;. , ■ 



CASE STUDY: ANACONDA, MONTANA 








BACKGROUND 

Anaconda, Montana, is a town of approxi- 
mately 7,000 people in the mountainous 
southwestern region of the state. More 
than a mile high, Anaconda serves as the gateway to 
the rugged Pintler Mountains, which tower as a 
snow-capped backdrop to the west of the town. 
Anaconda is better known as the historic site of one 
of the largest copper-smelting operations in the 
world — sister city to nearby Butte, where the cop- 
per was mined. Beginning in the 1880s Butte and 
Anaconda produced one sixth of the world's copper. 
Today, as a result of that history, Anaconda is one of 
the largest Superfund sites in the country. Driving 
into eastern Anaconda, visitors pass a vast black slag 
heap under the 58 5-foot- tall smelter stack as well as 
hillsides scarred by the smelting operations where 
extensive reclamation is now under way. 

In fall 1991 three residents of Anaconda 
attended the first Your Town workshop in 
Bozeman, Montana: Barbara Andreozzi, county 
extension agent; James "Milo" Manning, director 
of planning for Deer Lodge County; and Jim 
Davison, executive director of the Anaconda 
Local Development Corporation. Milo and Jim 
were long-term residents, and all three were com- 
munity leaders in a position to affect the future of 
Anaconda; all saw in Your Town an opportunity to 
improve the ongoing community-planning 
process that would accelerate as a result of the 
clean-up of the Superfund site undertaken by the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

CASE STUDY: ANACONDA, MONTANA 



THE COMMUNITY 

In 1991 Anaconda was still staggering from the 
blow dealt in September 1980 when the Atlantic 
Richfield Company (ARCO) closed the large 
smelter of its subsidiary, the Anaconda Company. 
When the smelter closed not only were some 
1,100 jobs lost, but the town lost approximately 
sixty percent of its tax base. The population of 
Deer Lodge County, of which Anaconda is the 
largest settlement, dropped from 12,500 in 1980 
to slightly over 10,000 in 1992. For ten years after 
the smelter closed no new housing construction 
occurred. The problems were psychological as well 
as economic; the spirit of the town was deflated. 
And, although the smelter landscape was historic 
and gave the community a strong identity, it was 
nevertheless a Superfund site with substantial 
environmental damage to be repaired. 

Even before the closing of the smelter Ana- 
conda had been engaged in a master-planning 
process, aimed at revitalizing the worn-down and 
declining downtown. During the 1970s "urban 
renewal' efforts had been undertaken in parts of 
Anaconda. One whole block of historic, but run- 
down, buildings had been razed so that a pedestri- 
an mall could be constructed. Fortunately, historic 
preservationists organized to prevent any further 
demolition and were able to save the city hall and 
other structures. The mall was never built. Some 
grand historic buildings still grace the downtown: 
the 1898 gray stone courthouse, the 1896 Hearst 
Library (William Randolph Hearst had been an 
early investor in the Anaconda Company), the post 
office, a theatre, and the operational roundhouse. 

THE YOUR TOWN EXPERIENCE 

The timing of the Your Town workshop was fortu- 



itous for Anaconda, because just as Barb, Jim, and 
Milo returned to the community filled with inspi- 
ration and ideas, ARCO — with Superfund appro- 
priations from the EPA — began to invest in the 
reclamation of the area. Money was available to 
conduct a regional historic preservation plan and to 
enlarge the community master-planning process — 
with the Your Town graduates to help lead the way. 
Barb, Jim, and Milo share an enthusiasm for 
the lessons of the Your Town experience. All three 
gained an appreciation for a holistic community- 
design process — instead of the fragmented plan- 
ning that had been the norm in Anaconda. Barb 
cites a new awareness of the importance of the 
visual in planning and design that she learned 
from the small-group problem-solving exercise. 
From Your Town she learned that everything must 
be shown graphically, not through words alone. 
Also, planning must involve the community at 
large; community design must reflect the will 
of all the stakeholders. Over the next several years 
all these principles were applied to the master- 
planning process and a visioning process that 
Barb, as county extension agent, facilitated. 

CHANGES SINCE YOUR TOWN 

In 1994 the county executive and Barb applied for 
a $12,000 "Getting Things Done" grant from the 
Governor's Office of Community Service and 
received $6,500 in rural development lunds horn 
Montana State University to undertake commu- 
nity visioning — a process developed by Montana 
State University Extension that involves a series of 
community meetings bringing together citizens 
with a wide range of interests to articulate a vision, 
define goals and objectives, and prioritize imple- 
mentation actions. 



"The workshop really 
opened my eyes to the 
concept of designing 
and planning for 



our town. 



Lawrence, Kansas, 1996 



ABANDONED SMELTER STACK 
STILL DOMINATES THE SKYLINE 



CASE STUDY: ANACONDA, MONTANA 



11 





ILLUSTRATING HOW INFILL 
BUILDINGS CAN REINFORCE 
THE DESIGN CHARACTER OF 
ANACONDA'S MAIN STREET. 



Anaconda wanted to build on its special her- 
itage — its mining history and landscape as well as 
its magnificent historic structures — and to make 
the community more livable, economically viable, 
and accessible. Out of the visioning process six 
goals were developed: 

► Enhance the visual character of 
Anaconda's entry corridors and the central 
business district 

► Develop housing for low- and middle- 
income individuals and families within the 
existing city 

► Preserve the historic character of Anaconda 

► Increase the density of retail and commer- 
cial activity in the central business district 

► Link Anaconda to the numerous recre- 
ational opportunities available in the 
area; and 

► Develop new facilities for public service. 
The whole visioning process was informed by 

the Your Town experience of Barb, Jim, and Milo. 



Barb, in particular, felt that all the community's 
goals must be illustrated in the planning docu- 
ment that was to be produced. "The need in all 
our planning was a clear visual 'look' at what the 
community's words and ideas would be. The con- 
ference really taught me I had to have models and 
drawings." She contacted Ralph Johnson with the 
MSU School of Architecture, who had been a fac- 
ulty member at the workshop. Johnson recruited a 
graduate student, Rick Kincaid, to work with 
Anaconda on presenting the community's plans 
graphically. Thus, Anaconda's Vision document, 
which Rick prepared, illustrated every aspect of 
every goal — so that the reader could see what the 
streets would look like with new trees, what new 
affordable housing would look like on vacant lots, 
and what new entrance signs would do for the 
appearance of the community's gateways. 

One of the objectives that emerged from the 
visioning process was to revitalize the Kennedy 
Common, a historic community park near down- 



12 



CASE STUDY: ANACONDA, MONTANA 



town. Used for ice skating in winter and baseball 
in summer, the park had been allowed to deterio- 
rate, suffering a loss of vegetation, lighting, and 
pathways. A landscape architect was hired to pro- 
duce a redesign of the Common that spoke to 
modern needs while reflecting plans that had 
been developed in the first decades of the century. 
The design was displayed for the community to 
review and a three-dimensional model of the new 
park was made by a MSU student and displayed 
along with the drawings. "If they see it, then 
they'll understand it," Barb explains. "We knew 
they had to see it." Exhibited in the lobby of a 
downtown bank, the model and drawings drew 
the attention and stimulated discussion by resi- 
dents, who were encouraged to submit comments 
and support the rehabilitation of the park. 

CONCLUSION 

Today Anaconda is a growing community, attract- 
ing new businesses, residents, and visitors. Its 
downtown is putting on a new face as the vision 
plan is implemented. Twelve Canadian cherry 
trees were planted along downtown streets in 
1996, and six more in early summer 1997. A new 
brick welcome sign was erected at the east end of 
town, and a landscaping plan is under way. A Jack 
Nicholas "signature" golf course has been con- 
structed on one of the smelter sites (part of the 
Superfund reclamation project), incorporating 
historic mining relics along an interpretive trail. 
Plans are under way for a pedestrian-and-bike- 
trail system through Anaconda. 

These changes have not occurred because of 
Your Town, but the workshop did provide a fortu- 
itous inspiration to three leaders to help jump- 
start the process of community rediscovery and 
revitalization. Barb maintains that Milo and Jim 



learned a new language at Your Town. "You grew 
tremendously out of the Your Town workshop," 
she tells Milo — who admits to having had "a rep- 
utation for not being historic-minded." Before 
the workshop she sometimes had difficulty com- 
municating with her cohorts; afterwards they 
spoke the same language. That language is giving 
some people in the community new hope. Today 
an optimistic spirit is in the air of Anaconda. "The 
people here really care about their community," 
says Barb, and this care is finding its way onto 
the landscape. 



OLD WORKS GOLF COURSE 




GOLF COURSE DESIGN INCORPORATES 
DISTINCTIVE LOCAL HISTORY. 



CASE STUDY: ANACONDA, MONTANA 



13 



CASE STUDY: QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 





BACKGROUND 

Queen Creek, Arizona, is located in the 
southeast corner of Maricopa County, 
approximately a forty-five-minute drive 
from Phoenix. The fertile valley below the San 
Tan Mountains offered a safe haven for prehis- 
toric Native American communities and early 
homesteaders who farmed and ranched along the 
Queen Creek Wash. Citrus, cotton, pecans, veg- 
etables, and other crops still provide for area fam- 
ilies, and the Wash is a key feature in the town's 
plan for future recreation trails and open space. 

By the time Arizona became a state in 1912 a 
true community had been formed in Queen 
Creek. Residents established traditions of neigh- 
borliness and rural fun. Some remember street 
dances, dips in local swimming holes, and sleep- 
ing under the stars in the summer. The general 
store, church, and post office served as commu- 
nity gathering places — and still do so today. Many 
of the town's founding families still choose Queen 
Creek as their home, and many of the local roads 
carry their names. 

Longtime residents also remember the rail- 
road switch at Rittenhouse and Ellsworth roads 
where they could flag down the train — called a 
dinky — which consisted of an engine and coach. 
After paying their fare, they could hop aboard for 
a ride into Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, or Tucson. In 
the 1920s Queen Creek experienced an influx of 
immigrants who had moved from Mexico to work 



14 



CASE STUDY: QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 



Queen Creek Road 





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M dr J Medium Density Residential 

— — — I (2 - 4 DU/ac, Target Density 3 5 DU/ac) 



Town Center 

Includes Municipal Buildings. Office. 
Commercial, and Higher Density Reudcnhal 
(fi- 18 DU/ac) 

Employment - Type A 

Includes Manufacturing and Distribution 



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os I Open Space 

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Major Washes 

Note: The land uses shown are generalized by location and use Refer to ihe Land Use Goals, 
Policies and definitions ui the text 



as miners in southern Arizona. They picked the 
local cotton crop by hand until the cotton gin 
arrived in the early twenties. In the 1 940s Germans 
from the prisoner of war camp in Queen Creek 
and Philippine immigrants joined farm laborers in 
local fields. Today Queen Creek is preparing for 
new additions to its rich cultural diversity. 

Located in a broad, open valley of the 
Sonoran Desert with towering saguaro cactus cov- 
ering the San Tan Mountains at the southern edge 
of the town, Queen Creek remains essentially 
unchanged. Yet the community is directly in 
the path of Phoenix's rapid expansion, which 
has engulfed nearby towns during the last two 



decades. The adjacent community of Gilbert, 
for example, is approving 300 building permits 
per month; its population has doubled in six 
years; and it has the fastest growing school district 
in Arizona. 

THE COMMUNITY 

Queen Creek has approximately 3,500 citizens, all 
of whom appear to be realistic about its inevitable 
growth. But rather than simply resign themselves 
to undifferentiated sprawl they have decided to 
focus on the issue of the quality of development. 
The town incorporated in 1989 to preserve the 
benefits of rural life while providing a process for 



AT LEFT: TOWN OF QUEEN CREEK 
GENERAL PLAN. ABOVE: CITIZENS 
NEED A SHARED UNDERSTANDING 
OF THE UNDERLYING COMMUNITY 
STRUCTURE. 



CASE STUDY: QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 




NEWSPAPER ARTICLE CELEBRAT- 
ING THE CHILDRENS' VIEW OF 
QUEEN CREEK. 



managed growth. Residents seek to preserve the 
town's friendly small-town spirit while working 
for economic and recreational opportunities and a 
high quality of life. 

In many ways Queen Creek is fortunate in 
that it only recently incorporated. This gave resi- 
dents a clean slate from which to create a vision 
for the community as well as the opportunity to 
take advantage of contemporary community- 
design theories and techniques like those of the 
Your Town workshops. Fortunately Queen Creek 
has had a consistent core of dedicated citizens and 
professionals since its incorporation. This group 
has provided the continuity so important for con- 
sistent, sustainable community design. 

THE YOUR TOWN EXPERIENCE 

Three of this core group attended the 1995 Your 
Town workshop in nearby Casa Grande, Arizona. 
They were Vice Mayor June Calendar, Town 
Manager Cynthia Seelhammer, and Russell 
Carlson, local business owner and planning com- 
missioner. For all three the timing of the work- 
shop was perfect because they were just embarking 
on the first update of their general plan. The town 
had been contracting for part-time planning staff, 
but it needed a professional staff person. The deci- 
sion was made to share with the neighboring town 
of Gilbert the expenses of a half-time planner, 
John Kross, but within a few months it became 
obvious that Queen Creek needed a full-time 
planner and John was hired. 

Although the first general plan was a good 
document, the Your Town workshop opened the 
three participants' eyes to new ways of thinking 
about their community, and they have helped the 
town actively develop other tools besides the gen- 
eral plan to manage its growth, including a town- 



center plan, an open-space-and-trails plan, zoning 
ordinances, and a subdivision code. This is no 
small feat in a typical Arizona community that, 
according to Cynthia, tends to believe "no govern- 
ment is good government." To which John Kross 
adds, "with a dose of John Wayne thrown in." 

BUILDING COMMUNITY 

Since the Your Town workshop, numerous initia- 
tives have worked to affect community spirit and 
sense of place. Like other growth areas of the 
Southwest, Queen Creek experiences what is 
known as the "churn phenomenon": For every five 
new residents who move in, three or four move 
out. Yet, despite residential turnover the citizens of 
Queen Creek seem to have a clear collective vision 
of the community's future. As was emphasized in 
the Your Town workshop, everyone seems to have 
a mental image of the town's fundamental struc- 
ture, including a dense commercial center, con- 
centrated residential development to the north- 
west, and open space and a trail system along 
the washes. 

One way Queen Creek has worked to pre- 
serve the collective image of the town is by devel- 
oping a packet for new residents. Each new family 
is individually greeted by a member of the town 
council and given a welcoming packet that focuses 
on the community's past, present and future. In 
addition to greetings and directories there are such 
short pieces as "Queen Creek History, Heritage 
Reflects Ties to the Land" and "Linking Old and 
New, A Vision for the Future" as well as a map of 
the general plan. The packet encourages new resi- 
dents to get involved and conveys the idea that 
becoming part of this community is more than 
owning a home or some land; it also involves a 
commitment. As Cynthia says, the packet tries to 



CASE STUDY: QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 




get over the "us versus them" of old timers versus 
new residents early on. 

The mayor is committed to continuous com- 
munication and participation with residents, even 
though he admits that at times the process can be 
slow and inefficient. To disseminate important 
information to the community a newsletter is 
published four times a year. The purpose is to 
keep the community informed of issues, solicit 
public opinion, and encourage people to get 
involved in community affairs. Each newsletter 
has a section called "New Zoning Issues: What's 
New in Queen Creek?" which discusses in some 
detail the proposed projects in the community. In 
addition there are articles on issues facing the 
community. One example, written by the mayor, 
was a recognition of the long-time residents of the 
community and the important role they played in 
shaping the town. To further this recognition the 
town is helping to organize oral histories and has 
held a dinner recognizing the pioneers of the past 
and calling on the community to "become the pio- 
neers of today. " 



The town also ran a competition to design a 
logo expressing the vision of the community. The 
competition forms were widely publicized, and 
more than sixty entries were received. The win- 
ning logo is simple. It shows the essential charac- 
teristics of the town with its valley, washes, and 
surrounding mountains and now appears on the 
town's business cards, lapel pins, and newsletter 
heading, contributing to the overall sense of 
community. 

Faced with increasing growth and change, the 
community decided to record what it is today 
before important features disappear. Instead of 
hiring a professional photographer to take pho- 
tographs Queen Creek turned to its own children. 
With a grant from the Arizona Commission on 
the Arts the town hired a professional photogra- 
pher to teach junior high students the fundamen- 
tals of photography and provided each of them 
with an inexpensive camera and film. The black- 
and- white pictures were taken by the youths over 
the course of a year so that all the seasons are rep- 
resented. The students snapped whatever caught 
their eye, including cowboys, an old truck, the 
local pet cemetery, and a messy front porch. The 
exercise culminated in a public exhibit and 
awards. The outcome may be best expressed in the 
words of the professional photographer, who at 
first glance had wondered what there was to pho- 
tograph in the community: "It was quite exciting. 
I found an incredible bunch of people — environ- 
mentalists, cowboys, ranchers, religious people, 
Mexicans, and farmers who have been there a long 
time. I found Queen Creek to be a really fascinat- 
ing place." 

How well have all these community-building 
efforts paid off? As Cynthia says, "you can tell 
when a place is making it as a team when you can 



AT LEFT: RUSSELL CARLSON AND 
JOHN KROSS. RUSS BRINGS LOCAL 
CHARACTER TO THE TRUE VALUE 
HARDWARE STORE HE MANAGES BY 
SELLING MINIATURE TOY HORSES. 
BELOW: NEWSLETTER AND LOGOS 
ARE IMPORTANT WAYS TO COMMU- 
NICATE A TOWN'S VISION AND 
BUILD COMMUNITY CONSENSUS. 



Town of Queen Creek 

£ ! NEWSLETTER 



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CASE STUDY: QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 



17 




CYNTHIA SEELHAMMER WITH 

ONE OF QUEEN CREEK'S 

IMPORTANT CONSTITUENTS - 

HER HORSE. 



stop anyone in the street and ask them what is 
going on and get some answer about the progress 
and vision of the future." Queen Creek is just 
such a community. Planner John Kross, who has 
worked with many communities, says that he 
has never seen as much participation and broad- 
based knowledge of the general plan in any 
other community. 

IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN 

The Your Town workshop, particularly the session 
on open-space subdivisions by Randall Arendt, 
resulted in a fundamental paradigm shift in the 
perspectives of the Queen Creek participants that 
has lasted until today. Workshop alumni began to 
ask fundamental questions about business-as- 
usual, standard engineering design solutions to 

R/W r/w 







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ALTERNATIVE 

STANDARD STREET DESIGN LEFT OUT MANY OF THE ELE- 
MENTS THAT ONCE MADE STREETS GREAT PLACES FOR 
PEOPLE. NEW ALTERNATIVES SEPARATE PEDESTRIANS AND 
VEHICLES, AND LEAVE ROOM FOR STREET TREES. 



problems. For example, the Maricopa County 
Department of Transportation (McDot) planned 
to replace two Queen Creek bridges. The engi- 
neers proposed one of a handful of standard Jersey 
Barrier design solutions. Town officials saw these 
structures as more than just bridges: They are 
gateways to the community. They asked if there 
wasn't something that McDOT could do that 
reflected Queen Creek? The answer was that the 
bridges could be painted, "but only gray or tan — 
or you can get the chain link in green vinyl." 
Luckily, the town decided that none of these sug- 
gestions was good enough and stood its ground. 
They persuaded McDOT to come up with a new 
design, and today the bridges clearly reflect their 
regional context. In addition, the undersides of 
the bridges are designed so that horseback riders 
along the trail that follows the wash will have an 
aesthetically pleasing experience and can ride 
underneath without dismounting. Even McDOT 
received some accolades for its sensitivity. Thus, a 
simple bridge has become symbolic of a commu- 
nity that realizes the importance of design. As 
another example, the standard McDOT design for 
a sidewalk, based on criteria of cost and safety, is a 
combined sidewalk and curb with street trees, if 
any, planted on the sidewalk edge. 

Queen Creek now has a new vision of how 
the community wants its streets designed. The 
new design would position the trees between the 
sidewalk and the curb, thus separating pedestrians 
from automobiles and allowing the trees to pro- 
vide shade and a sense of enclosure to the street. 
The town has decided that tree-lined streets are an 
important building block in making a good com- 
munity. Residents believe this simple change in 
design will have profound implications in the 
overall appearance of the community. 



18 



CASE STUDY: QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 




1 I I I l__jJy - .:■■■ -'-'. ■ 




:'. --^ .^ 






CONCLUSION 

Queen Creek is a community that has taken stock in 
itself. It has realized the value of building its civic 
capacity through a well-informed and participatory 
citizenry. The town also sees that good, thoughtful 
design is an important component of the communi- 
ty's rural character and quality of life. Residents have 
translated the community-shared vision into law — 
including a subdivision ordinance that requires tree- 
lined streets and open-style fencing on large lots — 
and have worked to accomplish tangible design 
solutions of which all Queen Creek can be proud. 



EVEN SOMETHING AS ORDINARY 
AS A BRIDGE CAN BE A DESIGN 
STATEMENT AND ACT AS A GATE- 
WAY TO THE COMMUNITY 



"I came home from your conference thoroughly elated. I had 

to get out of the community and talk with people who were 

not biased and who did not have predetermined notions of 

how our community should develop. In a setting free from 

minutia and crisis, I was able to focus on the 'big picture. ' 

I needed to hear how other communities have handled the 

problems we face. " 

Prescott, Arizona, 1993 



CASE STUDY: QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA 



19 



CASE STUDY: MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA 





BACKGROUND 

In the middle of the night of July 5th, 1994, 
after days of persistent rain, the farm ponds 
above Beaver Creek, tributary of the Flint 
River in west central Georgia, broke — causing 
Beaver Creek to flow around its levee and, with 
no warning, to creep along Railroad Street into 
downtown Montezuma. Soon buildings stood in 
six feet of filthy water. Less than two days later the 
Flint River crested — bringing water into down- 
town to a height of up to thirteen feet. For six 
days the water did not recede. By the time it did 
the lives of Montezuma's residents and the fate of 
the downtown had been changed forever. 

Cleaning, rebuilding, and revitalizing down- 
town Montezuma were arduous tasks, ones that 
many rural communities would find too daunt- 
ing. But in Montezuma's case the revitalization 
was orchestrated by Caren Allgood, participant 
in a Your Town workshop produced by the 
University of Georgia's School of Environmental 
Design five months after the flood. Largely 
because of Caren's influence Montezuma has dra- 
matically changed the look and vitality of its 
downtown, and its citizens are much more con- 
scious of the importance of community design. 
Montezuma, after the flood, is truly a new place. 



20 



CASE STUDY: MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA 



THE COMMUNITY 

Montezuma, Georgia, incorporated in 1854, was 
named by veterans of the Mexican War. From its 
earliest days it was a thriving market center for 
agriculture. From Montezuma cotton was shipped 
by railroad to Savannah, and the Flint River pro- 
vided an avenue for steamboat transportation as 
well. After the demise of cotton in the last decades 
of the nineteenth century, Montezuma continued 
to prosper as a market center for peaches, pecans, 
and other agricultural products. Both the com- 
mercial and residential sections of the town reflect 
this early wealth. Numerous historic buildings, 
most from the late nineteenth and early twentieth 
centuries, line the streets of the historic district. 
However, in the late 1960s the downtown under- 
went a period of "modernization" when many 
buildings were fitted with metal facades, wood 
paneling, and other materials to cover the historic 
bricks and windows. 

As with many small Southern towns, during 
the last decades Montezuma's population has 
declined; it is currently about 4,600. The town 
still functions largely as a market center for the 
surrounding agricultural region. Macon County's 
unemployment is high — 10.8 percent — and it 
ranks among the lowest tenth of counties across 
the state in terms of median family income 
and persons below the poverty level. In 1994, 
before the flood, most downtown businesses in 
Montezuma were stable but struggling to main- 
tain the status quo. 

THE YOUR TOWN EXPERIENCE 

At the time of the flood Caren Allgood was in the 
heating and cooling contracting business, and life 
was "business as usual." After the flood, in part 



because her business partner had 
had the foresight to order pressure 
washers and generators during the 
flood period, Caren became an 
active participant in the downtown 
clean-up. And, because Caren was 
former president of the Montezuma 
Historical Society, she was the 
person contacted when Georgia's 
Historic Preservation Division (HPD) 
and the Federal Emergency Manage- 
ment Agency (FEMA) announced 
the availability of grants to rehabili- 
tate flooded historic properties. 
(The grant money was available 
through the National Park Service 
for properties listed in or eligible for 
listing in the National Register of 
Historic Places.) 

Under the guidance of the fed- 
eral and state agencies as well as the 
Georgia Trust for Historic Preserva- 
tion and the National Trust for 
Historic Preservation, Montezuma formed a 
Historic Preservation Revitalization Task Force, 
with Caren recruited by the city manager, David 
Peaster, to be its chairman. The ten-person task 
force set to work soliciting design suggestions, 
helping businesses get estimates on the cost of 
interior and roof repairs, issuing a request for pro- 
posal for facade restoration, and filling out the 
requisite grant applications. In November 1994 
Caren received a phone call from Lisa Vogel, coor- 
dinator of an upcoming Your Town workshop in 
Georgia, inviting her to attend. The Georgia 
HPD had recommended Caren and offered to pay 
the full room-and-board cost of adding a partici- 
pant at the last minute. 




CAREN ALLGOOD STANDING NEXT 
TO POLE MARKING THE HIGH 
WATER MARK OF THE INFAMOUS 
1994 FLOOD. 



CASE STUDY: MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA 



REVEALING AND RESTORING OLD 
BUILDING FACADES CAN BE AN 
EXCITING PROCESS OF A COMMU- 
NITY REDISCOVERING ITS PAST. 



For Caren the workshop was a catalytic expe- 
rience. "It really changed the way I looked at 
everything," she says. Caren had grown up in 
Covington, Georgia, east of Atlanta. Once "in the 
country," Covington was now a sprawling node 
along the interstate, and although Covington is a 
Main Street community with a revitalized historic 
downtown, Caren hated the unsightly develop- 
ment that had changed its boundaries and sur- 
roundings. Still she had never considered that 
what had happened to Covington was not 
inevitable: "I never thought about alternate ways 
of growing." Your Town changed all that. The 
small-group problem-solving exercise and, partic- 
ularly, her interaction with University of Georgia's 
Pratt Cassity, her small-group leader, sensitized 
Caren to the appearance of the built environment 
and convinced her that communities can design 
their own futures. 



CHANGES SINCE YOUR TOWN 

After the workshop Caren was determined to bring 
the Your Town experience to Montezuma. Working 
with the Southern Regional Office of the National 
Trust and the University of Georgia, she was instru- 
mental in securing a special Your Town: After the 
Flood workshop for residents of flooded communi- 
ties of southwest Georgia. Held in the town of 
Americus in July 1995, the workshop was funded by 
flood grant money from the National Park Service 
and administered by the National Trust. Caren made 
sure that both the city manager of Montezuma and 
the president of the Macon County Chamber of 
Commerce attended. After the workshop Michelle 
Allen, Chamber president, knew that "the sky was 
the limit" for Montezuma. Not only was she sensi- 
tized to the character of buildings and the planning 
process itself, she also realized the potential for what 
the rebuilt town could be. 





22 



CASE STUDY: MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA 



Your Town changed Caren's career. After the 
workshop Caren continued to lead the Revitaliza- 
tion Task Force, working as a volunteer at least 
thirty hours a week. In summer 1995, just as she 
was planning to leave town in search of paid 
employment, Caren was offered the position of 
flood grants coordinator for Montezuma, a job 
she has thrived in. "Your Town changed what I 
wanted to do; I found a niche in the world for me 
that I loved." 

As flood grant coordinator, Caren oversaw 
every aspect of facade restoration and streetscape 
improvement in Montezuma. She was a steady 
presence in the downtown, supervising the 
removal of facade materials, the painting of 
bricks, and the erection of new awnings. Not all 
downtown businesses qualified for historic 
preservation grants, of course — only those listed 
in or eligible for listing in the National Register. 
But Caren worked with owners of nonqualifying 
buildings to improve their appearance nonethe- 
less. One was Carl Adams, owner of his own 
insurance agency and appraisal firm. After the 
flood Carl had no intention of relocating in his 
building on downtown Dooly Street and bought 
land on the outskirts of town for a new office. 
He was already talking to the State Department 
of Transportation about access to his property 
when Caren was able to persuade him to stay 
downtown. Although his building did not 
qualify for historic preservation grant funding, 
because it had been substantially remodeled in 
1992, Carl rehabilitated the building in a com- 
patible way with the advice of a Main Street 
consultant from the Georgia Trust. Carl 
removed the cedar-shake mansard roof, applied 
stucco to the brick, put up a new green-and- 
white-striped awning, and obtained a variance 




for a smaller insurance franchise sign — all at his 
own expense. 

Caren reactivated Montezuma's downtown 
development authority, which had been defunct 
since the 1980s, bringing the directors together to 
educate them about design guidelines, Main Street 
principles, and heritage tourism — to "show them 
the possibilities." Caren also began writing articles 
for the local newspaper about design guidelines, 
downtown landscaping, and streetscapes, challeng- 
ing readers to imagine what a grocery store would 
look like, for example, if its parking lot were located 
in back. When a McDonald's billboard was about 
to be erected on a vacant lot across from the rail- 
road depot downtown, at one of the gateways into 
Montezuma, Caren was able to persuade the city 
council to pass an off-premise-sign ordinance ban- 
ning billboards from the downtown development 
district. She also worked on the passage of a his- 
toric preservation ordinance. She invited Pratt 
Cassity, her small-group leader from Your Town, to 
give a slide presentation in Montezuma on historic 
preservation. All but one member of the city coun- 
cil saw the slide show, and the next day the historic 
preservation ordinance was passed. 



INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVES SUCH 
AS THOSE BY A LOCAL BUSI- 
NESSMAN CAN MAKE A 
DIFFERENCE AND RESULT IN 
MEANINGFUL COMMUNITY 
LEADERSHIP. 



CASE STUDY: MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA 



23 



CONCLUSION 

A comprehensive streetscape-improvement pro- 
ject is now under way in Montezuma: The old 
sidewalks and trees are being removed; new trees 
and paving will be installed; power lines will be 
relocated; and parks will be built, including new 
tennis courts alongside Beaver Creek. All of this 
physical change might not have been possible, of 
course, had it not been for the flood grant fund- 
ing. However, other Georgia communities have 
been eligible for the same funds, and none has 
planned or accomplished anything close to what 
Montezuma has. According to Greta Terrell of the 
Georgia Trust, in Montezuma "they see preserva- 
tion and design as part of the solution" of recovery 



from the flood. Other flooded communities have 
not been so insightful. 

Carl Adams attributes much of the town's 
success to Caren. "She had more foresight than 
anyone else." And, Caren attributes much of her 
own success to Your Town. It changed the way she 
looked at the world, and it changed her life's 
work. In the summer of 1997 she was hired by 
the nearby town of Americus to be the executive 
director of its downtown development authority 
and director of its Main Street program. In 
Americus Caren continues the application of the 
principles she learned at Your Town — this time as 
a preservation professional. 



CAREN ALLGOOD AND 
GRETA TERRELL TALK WITH 

MONTEZUMA'S MAYOR 
ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF 

FACADE IMPROVEMENT. 




24 



CASE STUDY: MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA 



CASE STUDY: MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 




BACKGROUND 

Nestled in a valley among the rolling hills 
of central New York is the small village 
of Morrisville, one square mile in size. 
A farming community that was once the county 
seat, Morrisville is currently the site of a State 
University of New York (SUNY) Agricultural and 
Technical College. The year-round population of 
some 1,300 consists of retirees, commuters to 
larger communities, and employees of the college. 
The architecture of the Village is predominantly 
Greek Revival and Italianate, intermingled with 
various styles of the twentieth century. Most of 
the structures are single family, many of which 
have been converted to rental units serving the 
student population of approximately 1,000. 

In many respects Morrisville is a typical 
upstate New York village with typical small-town 
problems. What is not typical about Morrisville is 
the residents' growing resolve to find the vision 
and means to solve these problems and to cele- 
brate the place where they live and work. 

THE COMMUNITY 

The Village has not changed dramatically in 
recent decades; rather, the change has been incre- 
mental and has resulted in a slow deterioration in 
the overall quality of the community. More and 
more of the college faculty have chosen to live in 
neighboring communities, and residents have had 




CASE STUDY: MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 



25 





^ 




t 







COMPUTER IMAGING CAN HELP COMMUNITIES SEE AND EVALUATE CHANGE BEFORE IT OCCURS. 



26 



CASE STUDY: MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 



a sense of inevitable decay. As one of Morrisville's 
citizens said, "The community suffered from 
severe apathy... It was once beautiful in the 1930s 
to 1950s. Then the boom years came when build- 
ings were torn down, and the community began 
to decline." 

By 1996, however, a number of forces con- 
verged to make the community think about its 
future in a new light. First, the New York State 
Department of Transportation informed the vil- 
lage that in the next few years they were planning 
to upgrade Main Street (U.S. Route 20). Many of 
the citizens were concerned about what an 
upgrade meant. The last Route 20 road improve- 
ments had resulted in the loss of roadside parks 
and fountains that acted as the village commons. 
The result was a sixty-foot-wide road through the 
center of town that was efficient for high-speed 
traffic but greatly compromised the once pedestrian- 
friendly center of town. 

Second, a number of fires in Morrisville left 
several gaping holes in the fabric of Main Street 
where once a church and drugstore had stood. 
Without design guidelines the community was 
uncertain and uncomfortable about what new 
structures would look like. At the same time a 
plan to build the village's first sewer system was 
prepared, posing the threat of new development. 
All this played against a background of simmering 
town-gown tensions resulting from an increasing 
number of rental units and a proliferation of bars, 
parking problems, and crime. Unfortunately, the 
Village was not prepared to respond to these pres- 
sures in a thoughtful manner. 

In 1989 the Morrisville Preservation Commis- 
sion was formed to list Madison Hall — the court- 
house when Morrisville was the county seat — in the 
National Register of Historic Places and to nomi- 



nate it as a local historic landmark. Soon, however, 
the Commission became the voice for design in the 
community at large. One event in particular 
prompted Commission members to play a broad 
activist role. In 1994 a church in a predominantly 
residential neighborhood in the center of the village 
burned down, and a proposal was made to rezone 
the property and renovate a remaining church 
structure into a plastics-model company. It was a 
bitter battle — and the company won. However, the 
experience made the Commission members realize 
that they needed to become proactive if they 
wanted to shape the future of their community. In 
the process of negotiating with the plastics-model 
company the Commission was able to require some 
design mitigation measures, and, in fact, the com- 
pany has proved to be a good neighbor. The com- 
munity realized that development and economic 
growth do not have to come at the expense of the 
quality of life. 

THE YOUR TOWN EXPERIENCE 

Luckily for Morrisville Carolyn Gerakopoulos, 
one of the village's most active citizens and a mem- 
ber of the Commission, participated in the 
Aurora, New York, Your Town workshop in the 
summer of 1994. Carolyn says, "The workshop 
was a defining point in my education. It was the 
best educational experience I have ever had." As 
the recently elected chair of the Commission she 
returned home from Your Town with new ideas 
and boundless enthusiasm and was instrumental 
in moving the village forward. 

After the workshop Carolyn continued her 
contact with Scott Shannon and Cheryl Doble, 
faculty in the Landscape Architecture Program at 
the SUNY College of Environmental Science and 
Forestry in Syracuse. In the fall of 1995, the 



"I looked for informa- 
tion and got more 
than I could have 
imagined . . . Thanks 
for wonderful fellow- 
ship, fiends, new 
acquaintances, a?id 
faculty. " 

Nashville, Tennessee, 1992 



CASE STUDY: MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 



27 




gr-crK*" , „ n n eee students 




PUBLICITY IS CRUCIAL FOR 
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. 



Village and faculty together applied for and 
received a small grant from the New York 
Planning Federation to develop a planning strate- 
gy for the village. Scott and Cheryl used the Your 
Town program and the rural community design 
studio offered by Scott and Cheryl at SUNY to 
develop a special project for Morrisville. The pro- 
ject was meant to encourage the community to 
participate in the design process and to express not 
only the problems facing the Village but also its 
aspirations for the future. Public participation was 
a key issue in Morrisville, where the various issues 
involved in community design were perceived to 
have grown increasingly complex. Thus, the pro- 
ject was developed to include the public in a pref- 
erence survey and all-day design workshop. 

The preference survey was developed in order 
for help the community to identify its positive and 
negative physical characteristics. Fifty-two slides 
depicting a range of small-town characteristics 
typical of the region were shown for seven cate- 
gories of land-use activity, including agriculture, 
parking, commercial/retail, academic/institution- 
al, recreation, landmarks/civic space, and residen- 
tial. The slides were shown to many of the local 
organizations, including the Lions Club, Rotary 
Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, junior and senior 
high students, AIDS Task Force, Parent Teacher 
Organization, the Preservation Commission, and 
the Senior Nutrition Program. Scott and Cheryl 
met with each group individually and explained 
the overall process. 

Participants were asked to rate each slide on a 
scale of negative five (-5) for least preferred to pos- 
itive five (+5) for most preferred. The results 
revealed community-wide patterns of likes and 
dislikes. For example, there was a strong desire for 
civic open space within the village, possibly a lin- 



gering impact from the loss of the median strip on 
Route 20, and an equally strong negative reaction 
to commercial strip development. 

The next step of the project was a work- 
shop that gave people the opportunity to cri- 
tique and offer opinions of the design of 
Morrisville. Building on the Your Town model, 
Scott and Cheryl hoped to demystify the design 
process by giving citizens the confidence to 
become directly involved in the community's 
design. Nearly seventy Morrisville residents 
attended the all-day public design workshop in 
March 1996. The workshop included a presen- 
tation and an evaluation of perspective sketches 
of design proposals for Main Street, a residen- 
tial street, and other areas; a presentation and 
evaluation of a scale model of design alterna- 
tives for Main Street (Route 20); and cognitive- 
mapping exercises of the village. The partici- 
pants were divided into groups of approximately 
twenty people who spent about one hour doing 
each of the exercises. 

The perspective sketches illustrated existing 
conditions and two design alternatives for various 
places in the village, and participants were asked 
to rank the sketches in order of preference. For all 
areas existing conditions were the least preferred. 
Each sketch was also critiqued and, when appro- 
priate, redesigned with the participants. 

The second exercise of the workshop featured a 
scale model of Main Street, Morrisville. Two design 
scenarios that could be interchangeably inserted into 
the model were presented for discussion. All the 
model pieces were movable so that participants 
could freely manipulate the design and explore alter- 
natives. The design solution that resulted was, thus, 
responsive to community preferences and created a 
sense of ownership in the participants. 



28 



CASE STUDY: MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 




SCALE MODELS HELP CITIZENS 
VISUALIZE CHANGE, AND 
INTERACT WITH DESIGN. 



CASE STUDY: MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 



29 



CONCLUSION 



<•„ .M VILLAGE of 

\ \MORRISVILLE 

'HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION, -' 




PLACEMATS AT LOCAL EATERIES HELP 
PEOPLE LEARN ABOUT THEIR COMMU- 
NITY EVEN WHILE THEY ARE DINING. 



Finally, a series of cognitive-mapping exercises 
was developed to reveal what citizens saw as his- 
torically, aesthetically, and personally important in 
Morrisville. The exercise also provided citizens 
with a map to familiarize themselves with the 
Village. Large maps of the Village were distributed 
to allow individuals to highlight the points of dis- 
cussion with markers. They marked areas that they 
believed were important to preserve or develop 
and wrote why these areas are significant. Citizens 
also recalled missing buildings and abandoned 
agricultural fields that they had previously forgot- 
ten. The workshop was considered a real commu- 
nity success. Cheryl attests, "The Morrisville 
design workshop was the best I have been involved 
in, due to the huge turnout of the community.... 
It provided a shot in the arm." According to 
Scott, "The Village Board came out of the experi- 
ence with a much better idea of what they wanted 
the community to become." 



Preservation Commission members continue to 
meet almost weekly around the dining-room table 
at the chair's house. The atmosphere is relaxed, 
with a tradition of serving cookies fresh out of the 
oven. The Commission has developed many cre- 
ative ways to raise the community's awareness of 
the importance of design. For example, Bob 
Lambert drew a map of the local landmarks in the 
Village, which has been printed on paper place 
mats and sold to restaurants. The placemats, in 
high demand, serve as a source of income for the 
Commission and raise the community's awareness 
of its natural and cultural resources. The Commis- 
sion has also developed a program for fourth 
graders that focuses on local history. At most pub- 
lic meetings Commission activist Dennis Sands 
displays historic photographs and maps of 
Morrisville. The hope is that all these efforts will 
cumulatively build the community's sense of place. 
Morrisville, today, is a different place from 
what it was only a few years ago. There is a sense 
that the community has a greater ability to control 
its future. Today, for example, there is a new drug- 
store located on the site of the one that burned 
down. The first design proposal was for a standard 
one-story concrete structure. But the new owner, 
sensing the change in the community's attitude 
toward appearance, redesigned the building so 
that it is sympathetic with the scale and materials 
of the existing Main Street. According to 
Commission member Sands, "The key is patience, 
will power, never giving up, and having an 
inspired leader such as Carolyn." 



30 



CASE STUDY: MORRISVILLE, NEW YORK 



CONCLUSION 



The Your Town: Designing Its Future program 
was developed out of the concern of the 
National Endowment for the Arts for the 
role of design in shaping the future of America's 
rural communities. Although change in rural 
America is inevitable, the hope is that the Your 
Town program has heightened participants' 
awareness of the importance of design in manag- 
ing that change. The design process can be a won- 
derful vehicle for energizing an apathetic citi- 
zenry. Design is proactive and gives people a sense 
of empowerment and hope so often missing in 
rural communities. 

The case studies presented here demonstrate 
how individuals with some basic design education 
and a commitment to teach others can make a 
profound difference in the appearance of their 
communities. Design alone will not turn a com- 
munity around or save it from unwanted change. 
But combined with other community-building 
initiatives such as comprehensive planning, his- 
toric preservation, and economic restructuring 
design can provide a catalyst for community social 
and economic revitalization. 

Based on the Your Town workshops and the 
experiences of the participants in applying the 
design process in their own communities, several 
principles emerge. 




CONCLUSION 



31 



Good community design: 

► must include a broad base of public 
participation 

► does not cost morel All communities can 
afford good design 

is comprehensive and takes into considera- 
tion all local cultural and natural features. 

► is indigenous and must reflect the values 
and character of the local community 

► will not happen in a vacuum but requires 
local leadership that is committed to 
design and recognizes its importance 

► is slow and incremental and requires long- 
term patience and tenacity. 

The hope is that through continued Your Town 
workshops these principles can be applied to more 
and more rural communities across the country. 




"The information presented has given me the 
tools to participate in the design process with 
confidence.... The workshop dispels any timidity 
about participating. ...' 



Casa Grande, Arizona, 1995 



32 



CONCLUSION 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



Arendt, Randall G. Conservation Design for Subdivisions: A Practical Guide to Creating Open Space Networks. Washington, D.C.: 
Island Press, 1996. 

Arendt, Randall, with Elizabeth A. Brabec, Harry L. Dodson, Christine Reid, and Robert D. Yaro. Rural by Design: Maintaining Small 
Town Character. Chicago: Planners Press, 1994. 

Beaumont, Constance E. How Superstore Sprawl Can Harm Communities — and What Citizens Can Do About It. Washington, D.C.: 
National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1994. 

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF).Z^ Back Your Streets: How to Protect Communities from Asphalt and Traffic. Boston: CLF, 1995. 

Daniels, Thomas L., John W Keller, and Mark B. Lapping. The Small Town Planning Handbook (second edition). Chicago: 
Planners Press, 1995. 

Duany, Andres and Elizabeth Plater- Zyberk. Towns and Town-Making Principles. New York: Rizzoli, 1991 . 

Ford, Kristina, with James Lopach and Dennis O'Donnell. Planning Small Town America. Chicago: Planners Press, 1989. 

Harker, Donald F. and Elizabeth Unger Natter. Where We Live: A Citizens Guide to Conducting a Community Environmental Inventory. 
Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1995. 

Hester, Randolph T, Jr. Community Design Primer. Mendocino, Calif.: Ridge Times Press, 1990. 

Hiss, Tony. The Experience of Place. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. 

Hylton, Thomas. Save Our Land, Save Our Towns. Harrisburg, Pa.: RB Books, 1995. 

Jarvis, Frederick D. Site Planning and Community Design for Great Neighborhoods. Washington, D.C.: Home Builder Press, 1993. 

Managing Change in Rural Communities. Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts and U.S. Department of Agriculture, 
Natural Resources Conservation Service, November 1995. 

Smith, Kennedy, Katejuncas, Bill Parrish, and Suzanne G. Dane. Revitalizing Downtown. Washington, D.C.: National Main Streei 
Center, 1991. 

Steiner, Frederick R. The Living Landscape: An Ecological Approach to Landscape Planning. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991 . 

Stokes, Samuel N., A. Elizabeth Watson, and Shelley S. Mastran, Saving America's Countryside. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins 
University Press, 1997 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



WHERE TO GET DESIGN ASSISTANCE 







/ 4 


wm, 



Following is a list of selected organizations and 
agencies that provide information and technical 
assistance in rural community design and planning. 



American Institute of Architects 
1735 New York Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20006 
202-626-7300 



National Trust for Historic Preservation 
1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. 
Washington, DC 20036 
202-588-6000 



American Planning Association 
1776 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. 
Washington, DC 20036 
202-872-0611 

American Society of Landscape Architects 
636 Eye Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20001-3736 
202-898-2444 

The Conservation Fund 

1800 North Kent Street, Suite 1 120 

Arlington, VA 22209 

703-525-6300 

National Park Service 

Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance 

P.O. Box 37127 

Washington, DC 20013-7127 

202-565-1200 



Natural Resources Conservation Service 

U.S. Department of Agriculture 

P.O. Box 2890 

Washington, DC 20013-2890 

202-720-3210 

Scenic America 

21 Dupont Circle, N.W. 

Washington, DC 20036 

202-833-4300 

Faculty of Landscape Architecture 

State University of New York 

College of Environmental Science and Forestry 

Syracuse, NY 13210-2787 

315-470-6544 

USDA Forest Service 

U.S. Department of Agriculture 

P.O. Box 96090 

Washington, DC 20090-6090 

202-205-1760 



34 



WHERE TO GET DESIGN ASSISTANCE 



LIST OF YOUR TOWN: DESIGNING ITS FUTURE WORKSHOPS HELD TO DATE 



Bozeman, Montana 
Gallatin Gateway Inn 
September 29-October 2, 1991 



Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 
McGee's Main Street Inn 
October 29-31, 1995 



Nashville, Tennessee 
Hachland Hill Vineyard 
August 27-29, 1992 



Lawrence, Kansas 
Eldridge Hotel 
November 16-18, 1995 



Prescott, Arizona 
Hassayampa Inn 
May 20-22, 1993 



Helen, Georgia 
Unicoi Lodge 
December 4-6, 1995 



Aurora, New York 
Wells College 
August 11-13, 1994 



Nebraska City, Nebraska 
The Lied Conference Center 
May 8-10, 1997 



Helen, Georgia 

Unicoi Lodge 

November 30 - December 2, 1994 



Sublimity, Oregon 
Silver Falls State Park 
May 18-21, 1997 



Casa Grande, Arizona 
Francisco Grande Hotel 
January 12-15, 1995 



Prescott, Arizona 
Hassayampa Inn 
May 22-24, 1997 



Americus, Georgia 

First United Methodist Church 

July 14-15, 1995 



Franconia, New Hampshire 
Red Coach Inn 
June 15-17, 1997 



Charleston, Oregon 

Oregon Institute for Marine Biology 

August 24-26, 1995 



LIST OF YOUR TOWN: DESIGNING ITS FUTURE WORKSHOPS HELD TO DATE 












THIS PUBLICATION WAS PRODUCED FOR 
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS 




THIS PUBLICATION WAS JOINTLY PREPARED BY THE: 

National Trust for Historic Preservation 
1785 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W 
Washington, D. C. 20036 

Faculty of Landscape Architecture 

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry 

One Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210 

CO-AUTHORS: 

Richard Hawks 

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry 

Shelley Mastran 

National Trust for Historic Preservation 

With the editorial assistance of Jane Brown Gillette. 






Designed by: 
Christine M. Beaulieu 
Mosseau Beaulieu Graphic Design 
Cicero, New York 13039 



"Printed on recycled paper by: Syracuse Lithographing, Syracuse, New York 13204 




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"This is a brilliant and generous project 
that is very much needed and very much 
appreciated. Architecture and design seem 
to be so misunderstood and taken for 
granted. This workshop awakened an 
awareness and stimulated an appreciation 

otherwise left dormant" 

StLVER Falls State Park, 
Oregon, 1997 



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