One of the conclusions of the economic development plan was that North Adams has tremendous assets, but those assets are not always well known to both residents and visitors, and are not properly linked.¬† The North Adams Partnership¬†retained Stolze Design, who worked with community stakeholders on the development of a new brand and wayfinding system for North Adams. ¬†We are excited that the city’s¬†new brand has been¬†rolled out on signs at the major entrances¬†into North Adams¬†as well as on signs and banners highlighting the downtown and on the city website explorenorthadams.com. ¬†In September 2016, City of North Adams received the 1Berkshire Trendsetter award for Best Comprehensive Marketing Plan against county-wide competition. ¬†Mayor Alcombright thanked the Partnership for our contributions to the City’s marketing efforts and our work to make this city grow and thrive.
The Partnership contributed funding to the critical Concept Design for the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum, and our board members continue to be leaders in the effort. ¬†Borne out of Thomas Krens‚Äô career experience with cultural institutions, and¬†his investigations of new concepts for public museums, the EMRCA continues¬†to grow in scope, detail, and sophistication. The project has¬†sparked unprecedented¬†enthusiasm from the citizens of North Adams and the international press. ¬†Read about the project on¬†iberkshires.
Broder Properties, a design-led development company, are creating¬†a destination hotel and experience trailhead, “a rural park in the middle of an industrial city, privately owned and open to the public.” ¬†The new buildings are oriented to take advantage of tranquil views of the natural valley and meandering river. ¬†Construction of TOURISTS¬†is progressing rapidly, and the resort will open in the autumn of 2017.¬† Read more on¬†iBerkshires.
Our¬†Strategic Plan identified the need to strengthen North Adams’ identity as a cultural & outdoor recreation destination. ¬†Among our outdoor recreation assets are wonderful bike rides, including¬†the ride up Mt Greylock through Lanesboro, Adams and North Adams which is “the best bike ride in the state” according to¬†biking.com. ¬†In order to promote¬†cycling tourism, the Partnership has¬†created BikeBerkshireNorth.org, a website devoted to cycling opportunities for locals and visitors alike.
Our economic development plan identified the property at 25 Marshall Street, adjacent to MASS MoCA‚Äôs parking lot, as a crucial connector between the museum and downtown, and a location that could serve as a kind of public commons and help meet the need for increased green space in downtown North Adams. The Partnership facilitated the acquisition of 25 Marshall Street by MASS MoCA, and engaged SHoP Architects to further develop its vision for the site by developing detailed conceptual drawings. View a¬†presentation of conceptual drawings by SHoP Architects.
While the building of the Route 2 Overpass hurt downtown North Adams by diverting traffic away from Main¬†Street and creating an imposing barrier that separates the downtown from nearby neighborhoods and businesses to the north, we believe there‚Äôs an opportunity to creatively transform this overbuilt bridge into an asset that would draw more activity downtown. By reducing the traffic lanes on the overpass, we could create space for ‚ÄúSky Gardens‚ÄĚ ‚Äď a landscaped pedestrian thoroughfare that would slow vehicle traffic and encourage drivers to stop in North Adams, offering tourist visitors and residents beautiful views and a stunning transformation of unnecessary hardscape. SHoP Architects has produced initial conceptual drawings, and City staff¬†are now launching discussions with state and federal transportation agencies and elected officials to seek buy-in and funding to fully design and implement this exciting vision. View¬†the¬†Rt. 2 Overpass SHoP Presentation¬†to see all of the conceptual designs.