Monthly Archives: November 2010

Industry News
“A New Face for an Old Broad” 2-Day Event

As you might know, Paul West, owner of West Stone Works, Inc., and West Memorials, is also a member of the Broad Avenue Business Association (you can seemore about this association by clicking on the following image).    Not only are we fine designers and craftsmen of monuments, mausoleums and cemetery markers; but, we are also all participants in the art community.  Be sure to swing by during the event to see paintings and photography by our staff.

11/17/2010 – Be sure to check out Anthony Sircusa’s article “Broad Avenue Facelift Puts Possibilities Into Reality.”

Be sure to stay tuned to keep informed about the goings-on at the following event!  West Memorials will be open on Friday evening, November 19, 2010, from 9am – 4pm for regular business, and 3pm – 10 pm, for art and open house.  Then, we will open again on Saturday from 8 am – 10 pm.  Stop by to meet our staff!  There is definitely more to us than memorials: photographers, painters, illustrators–our staff is limitless!

11/15/2010 – UPDATE!  Weekend Schedule of Events!

 

Be sure to check the official website by clicking on the image above for actual dates and times; but, here is a list of addresses and what will be happening in that location.

 

Nov. 16, 2010 – UPDATE!  Murals -

Come be a part of the 400 foot mural we are creating as a centerpiece to this weekend’s A New Face for an Old Broad.

Today (11/16/2010) – noon until 8pm (or later if we are rocking along!)

Supplies provided – you provide the vision of what the future holds for Broad Avenue

Building on the SW corner of Broad at Merton…

Kids can paint too! Just bring an adult along with you and create!

Ask for Alex or Sarah when you arrive… the fun awaits!

 

A nice article appeared in the local papers about the event, and you can read what the Commercial Appeal wrote.

Holiday shopping, kids’ bike parade, music, art, food, exercise, and ride your bike – all on Broad Avenue during our A New Place for an Old Broad event, November 19 & 20. Check out the Broad Avenue Facebook page for more information, or the official website:  Broad Avenue Arts District.

Nov. 12, 2010 – UPDATE!

Crosswalk project began November 11 with Jamin Carter from Lester School bringing a group of students down to paint the Merton crosswalks. Very special thanks to Cathy Winterburn for coordinating the project. Photos by T Clifton Art Gallery.

 

 

 

Street closings before the event!

Friday – 9am until 1pm the north Bingham crosswalk area will be closed while the Brewster kids paint

Monday – 9 am until 1pm south Bingham crosswalk area will be closed while the Neighborhood School kids paint.

Action News 5 did a report on the event.

Read Shalishah Franklin’s take on the event.

Read the Memphis Flyer article.

The Commercial Appeal Article and Photograph:

 

Businesses on Broad Avenue plan a little experiment in grassroots urban planning

By Tom Bailey Jr.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It’s their dream street.

An urban village where cafes extend onto sidewalks, thick with people.

Bicyclists pass nearby on protected bike lanes.

Shade trees dapple the sidewalk and storefronts.

Antique street lamps illumine the evening hubbub.

Cars ease through two traffic lanes, posing no threat.

On-street parking provides a barrier for bikers.

Nearly every storefront is filled with sellers of pastry or coffee or flowers or paintings or sculpture or meals or drinks or a variety of other goods.

Live music fills the air.

Forget the expensive planning consultants, and their thick studies. Skip the public meetings and endless debate. Ignore the sometimes stifling, car-centric regulations.

On Nov. 19-20, the businesses of Broad Avenue will stop just short of civil disobedience to make their dream street a reality.

They’re calling it “A New Face for an Old Broad.”

Yes, bands will play, fun food and drink will be sold, and kids will get to paint, tour a fire truck and dig like archeologists.

But don’t confuse this with just another weekend festival.

Some of Memphis’ most dynamic change agents are a driving force here.

“This ties into our mission in a number of ways,” says Sarah Newstok, program manager for Livable Memphis. Its mission is to essentially maul the mall by recreating neighborhoods that have just about everything residents need within walking and biking distance.

“It’s the kind of example Memphis could use to get its infrastructure correct.”

The Broad Avenue event is only the first for what’s called “Facelift Memphis: Reinventing Memphis — Block by Block,” says Chooch Pickard, executive director of Memphis Regional Design Center. “We hope to do it in other neighborhoods over a year,” he said.

The Broad Avenue event will be three things in one, says Pat Brown, business manager for T Clifton Art. “Part festival, part theater, part education,” she says.

The cup is half-full for the Historic Broad Business District.

It has a magnificent three-block row of terrific old buildings that line the sidewalk. That’s a back-to-the-future streetscape that urban planners now evangelize for and modern shopping centers mimic with their so-called “lifestyle centers.”

The city’s newest art district, Broad has galleries and artist studios, several restaurants, and professional offices.

But the street still has many empty storefronts.

And far too many of the occupied spaces use plywood, blinds, opaque plastic and other can’t-see-through material to cover their ground-floor windows.

Transparency is a pillar in creating the kind of urban village desired by the Historic Broad Business Association. Pedestrians feel safer when they can be seen by the clerks and customers of the shops they pass by.

Transparent windows and doors allow a connection.

“We want people to open windows,” said association president David Brown, owner of the Splash Creative advertising/communications firm.

Where some windows can’t be opened, event organizers will paint fake shop windows on vinyl to show what the ideal street would look like.

Where shops are empty, property owners have given permission for organizers to move in temporary businesses to sell coffee, flowers, pastries, books and other goods.

Since the event lasts only two days, the city has given permission for organizers to paint bike lanes on both sides of Broad, reduce the 60-foot-wide street to two lanes of traffic, and reconfigure the parking spaces.

Large planters will create landscaping for bump-out islands on the street to help slow traffic.

Broad Avenue is latching on to the Better Block Project that started in an inner-city neighborhood of Dallas in April and is spreading around the country.

A 36-year-old information-technology consultant named Jason Roberts originated the idea and has now led two events in Dallas’s Oak Cliff, about a mile southwest of downtown.

“Memphis may be the same way, but definitely in Dallas we look for the grand strokes to fix problems,” Roberts said in a telephone interview last week. “A $100 million new convention center hotel or bridge. Our point was to take it at a block level. Block by block.”

One of the commercial blocks in his neighborhood had a bike shop, a couple of art galleries, tiny bookstore, and about five vacant spaces.

Roberts persuaded property owners to let him fill their empty stores with demonstration businesses in return for essentially free real estate marketing.

Conversely, he persuaded people who fantasized about owning a business to try it for a couple of days.

He actually did engage in some mild civil disobedience by not obtaining expensive permits to string holiday lights across the street, set sandwich boards and fruit stands on the sidewalk and to erect awning.

They were Dallas ordinances that “restrict a walkable life,” he said.

“There was a renegade factor,” Roberts said. “But we invited city staff and council members. They loved it and thought it was incredible.

“It quickly became legitimized.”

Some spaces that had been empty for years rented immediately after 3,000 people came to the event.

“This Better Block does away with the idea of permanence,” Roberts said. “This is a demonstration zone only. Just using paint and bollards. It does away with fear. People engage with the environment we created for a bit.”

The Better Block idea has spread already to Houston and Waco in Texas, and Mount Rainer, Md.

On Thursday, a group of Broad Avenue business owners, urban designers and neighborhood organizers gathered to chalk out where the painted bike lanes will be by Nov. 19-20.

Jo Buehler, who owns Buehler Affordable Homes, seemed to be having a good time helping measure the distances.

She has ordered a new sign for her business, which for the event will be decorated with Christmas lights and trees.

“I’d like to see it come alive again,” she said of Broad. “… I can’t wait to see the trees, the tables, the lights.”

– Writer: Tom Bailey Jr.: 529-2388

A New Face for an Old Broad

What: A demonstration of what a vibrant, pedestrian- and bike-friendly business district can be like in Memphis

When: 3 to 10 p.m., Nov. 19; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Nov. 20

Where: Three blocks of Broad Avenue, from Hollywood to Collins

Participate: Still space for more volunteers and participating, temporary businesses.

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