What is the Design Committee?

Main Street Morgantown follows the four point approach® with design being one of the four points. The Design Committee is charged with the physical appearance of the Downtown Districts. The goal is to create a safe environment in top physical shape, and preserving the historic character that will be inviting to visitors and residents. In order to accomplish their goals, the committee must focus on all physical aspects of the district including: “public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials.”

In 2004, the Design Committee launched the state’s first audio historic walking tour.  The tour gives a brief audio explaining the historic significance of the contributing buildings in our Downtown Historic District.  The tour is currently housed in Hotel Morgan where guests, visitors or residents are able to check out a headset and brochure to learn about our history.  MSM is currently working to have the tour available on our website to it make more easily accessible and user-friendly.

Main Street Morgantown’s Design Committee has accomplished many beautification projects over its 31 years.  In the early stages they organized “trash bashes” in partnership with BOPARC, but then they were eventually able to work out an agreement with BFI to incorporate a dumpster system.  The dumpsters have really helped keep the streetscape clean. Once the city was cleaned up, they continued to work with the city to help create and implement maintenance plans for the Downtown District.  They worked with the City’s Beautification Committee to have the floral baskets installed and assisted with the holiday decoration selection. They received an anonymous donation to commission the mural in Parking Lot B.

This committee also works with the Economic Development Committee (which will be explained more thoroughly in a later post) to assist business and property owners with smaller physical improvements.  The Design Committee, with the Economic Development Committee, oversees the façade and signage grant program and MSM is also working to create a lighting grant in which the Design Committee and Economic Development Committee will oversee together.

The committee has also helped the city develop the plans and design guidelines for the streetscape projects.  The city will be starting the latest phase, Walnut Street, in spring 2015.

The committee has secured funds over the year to help with wayfinding signage throughout the districts.  This is done not only to encourage people to walk our streets, but to do so without any confusion.  Most recently, MSM applied for a Growing Healthy Communities Grant which would fund wayfinding signage from the Riverfront Park to Foundry via the Rail Trail.  This will help direct people safely from the Downtown Wharf to the Downtown while encouraging physical activity and economic development of our district.  The plan is to complete the project in the phases and ultimately have wayfinding signage from the Waterfront Place Hotel to the Morgantown Farmers Market and all the appropriate places in between.

Main Street Morgantown’s Design Committee is currently working to set its 2015 work plan. Please stay up to date on our yearly work plan and the progress made with updated articles to this blog, our website, twitter or Facebook.  The committee is completely volunteer based, so if something sparks your interests, don’t hesitate to contact us and join in on the fun.

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