Author Topic: LaVilla Heritage Trail proposed  (Read 2441 times)

thelakelander

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LaVilla Heritage Trail proposed
« on: December 06, 2023, 09:05:55 AM »
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From ragtime, blues and jazz, to the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Movement, and many local food dishes we enjoy today, the neighborhood of LaVilla has played a significant role. The proposed LaVilla Heritage Trail is an interpretive marker project that will share the unique and largely overlooked history of sites within LaVilla and the individuals and events associated with them. On Thursday, December 14th, a public meeting will be held at the Ritz Theatre & Museum to continue discussions and planning efforts for the cultural heritage trail. The meeting, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. is free and open to the public.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/lavilla-heritage-trail-proposed/
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

sandyshoes

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Re: LaVilla Heritage Trail proposed
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2023, 08:06:23 AM »
If you will refer to another thread on the subject of heritage markers (The Harlems of the South), please take a look at the markers Pensacola has chosen.  The blue background and the sign are attractive and less obstructive for foot traffic on the sidewalk.  Maintenance costs would probably be very little.  The design is classic and materials probably more durable than what appear, in some photos in this thread, to be fiberglass benches. That's my two cents worth - or ten cents worth (what would that be, with our current rate of inflation, anyway)?

thelakelander

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Re: LaVilla Heritage Trail proposed
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2023, 11:36:28 AM »
^Thanks for sharing!

I'll add, that there are quite a few more design criteria factors at play with this project, than the average state historical marker type of sign. Here are a few and how they differ dramatically from the Pensacola marker:


Traditional state historical marker


Pensacola Blues marker

1. The Pensacola marker is a single marker that doesn't really encourage anyone to explore the neighborhood. It is intended to share the history of The Blocks, for those who are primarily interested in history. In other words, the traditional marker focuses on telling history like its an obituary. Since history is evergreen and evolves, the LaVilla project will be intended to not only share traditional history but engage the viewer in a setting where the history and culture is living and can be experienced. You can learn about the Ritz and go instead the Ritz. You can learn about the history of Jax mustard based bbq, the role it played in the Chitlin Circuit and Ashley Street....and then get some from a restaurant in LaVilla. Each marker will also have a variety of historic images of the buildings, sites and individuals associated with them. That's another element that most historic text-based markers tend to lack.

The LaVilla project is more in line of those intended to attract a larger viewership base, than what one will get with a traditional sign or state historic marker. The trail on Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Avenue is a closer comparable to this project:





2. The LaVilla trail is intended to act as an outdoor museum.

3. For accessibility, markers and routes are designed to only be located on existing sidewalks that are a minimum of 12 feet in width. So in constrained areas (i.e. 12' sidewalks), markers will take up one to two feet of space, depending on the way they are situated on the sidewalks. Here are two examples from the U Street Trail in Washington, DC. These sidewalks are less than 12 feet in width.





4. For visibility, a significant amount of markers are being positioned to be located adjacent or within site of existing Skyway and First Coast Flyer bus stations within LaVilla. This is a best practice learned from larger cities on how to have these types of projects engage with a larger segment of the population.

5. Unlike the traditional marker, the intent is to have a product that engages with people, regardless of whether they are five or eighty-five. So the shapes and spaces they are placed in, will also play a role in the design. As a part of the conceptual design process, it means that populations that don't read traditional markers will need to be connected with as well.

6. Last, depending on the topic (i.e urban renewal, redlining, etc.), some spots maybe very emotional for certain viewers. So public spaces where there is ample room (i.e. some of our long dead pocket pockets and empty plazas), may have larger trail walls or benches in them, along with landscaping, to create a better atmosphere for that experience, as opposed to those narratives being placed on a random sign on a constrained sidewalk and/or busy street.

7. Materials and long term maintenance - A part of the conceptual design process involves working with signage fabricators and installers to identify materials that will result in low cost long term maintenance costs. Once there's some general community consensus on design concept, the focus will shift more into the design development phase. If there is a strong desire for something closer to the traditional historical marker, then its very likely that this is the route the project will go.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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Re: LaVilla Heritage Trail proposed
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2023, 03:54:01 PM »
Excellent point, thelakelander.
Since it is being called a "trail" will the markers direct readers to other markers along the trail?  Either arrows pointing to the 'next' signs (each way) along the street they are on, or an overall map? I can see how putting the map on each marker (or wall, etc.) would take up valuable space needed for copy and graphics. I'm not a fan of the 'old school' historic markers. Have you looked at the markers erected by Old Arlington, Inc. around 2009?
Example: Norman Studios marker https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=93419

From the map at the link.
Is anything special planned at the seven "gateways"? Five have one or more markers (of one type or another), but two (State/Jefferson and Union/Davis) don't appear to have anything.
Does the dashed line on the map indicate what will be the designated trail? If so, I see that one site (Marker #14) is not on the trail.
I know you can't control where history happened, but it would be 'nice' if the trail allowed a full circuit of all the markers without retracing steps.

thelakelander

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Re: LaVilla Heritage Trail proposed
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2023, 07:04:18 PM »
^Yes, there will be a map with the other locations on each marker. The challenge that still must be over come is what happens when additional marker locations are added in the future?

For the most park, marker sites have been consolidated to a loop even more specific than what's shown on the map. However, there are a couple of locations that may not be exactly in line.  With every bit of public and property owner input, the focus narrows a bit more.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali