Ideas Under Construction

Throughout the course of September's Charrette, vignettes were produced to illustrate the potential solutions, possibilities, and opportunities in Thomasville. These vignettes are DRAFTS that show a before and after progression for a variety of sites throughout the City and while they may show one location, they are intended to serve as a template for other potential sites within Thomasville.

It is important to note that while the development scenarios depicted are intended to be persuasive, the illustrations are conceptual, not regulatory. They depict one potential outcome and are based on statements heard from the public during the Charrette. Other possibilities exist and will continue to be explored.

Check out the vignettes from the Charrette below. These ideas under construction will continue to be refined and studied as the Comprehensive Plan is written.


How can we accomplish commercial revitalization using bike infrastructure?

Clay Street

 Today, Clay Street serves cars above all else. There is excess pavement, speeding cars, and vacant neighborhood commercial buildings where Clay meets Mitchell Street. This creates an environment that is unsafe and unwelcoming for pedestrians who are using the park. In the future, Clay Street is envisioned as a bike-priority corridor that will connect the multi-use trail running along McIntyre Park to downtown. To accomplish this, upgraded sidewalks and crosswalks are added and high quality protected bike facilities are introduced, reducing the pavement for cars and slowing them down as well. There is also an opportunity to revitalize the existing commercial buildings, which are uniquely located to serve the community around Clay Street and those visiting the park.

Today, Clay Street serves cars above all else. There is excess pavement, speeding cars, and vacant neighborhood commercial buildings where Clay meets Mitchell Street. This creates an environment that is unsafe and unwelcoming for pedestrians who are using the park. In the future, Clay Street is envisioned as a bike-priority corridor that will connect the multi-use trail running along McIntyre Park to downtown. To accomplish this, upgraded sidewalks and crosswalks are added and high quality protected bike facilities are introduced, reducing the pavement for cars and slowing them down as well. There is also an opportunity to revitalize the existing commercial buildings, which are uniquely located to serve the community around Clay Street and those visiting the park.


What could a city gateway look like?

West Jackson Street

 West Jackson Street is one of the primary entrances into Thomasville. While improvements have been made and are being made to portions of West Jackson close to downtown, there is an opportunity to improve this corridor up to Patten Street and beyond to better serve more residents in the area and create a more pleasant experience for those driving into Thomasville. Suggested improvements include burying power lines, reducing five lanes of vehicular traffic down to three, adding formal on-street parking, street trees, and protected bicycle lanes. These public improvements can in turn help spur commercial and residential infill development in vacant parcels, as well as encouraging the revitalization of the beloved Imperial Hotel, Thomasville’s only historically African American-owned hotel.

West Jackson Street is one of the primary entrances into Thomasville. While improvements have been made and are being made to portions of West Jackson close to downtown, there is an opportunity to improve this corridor up to Patten Street and beyond to better serve more residents in the area and create a more pleasant experience for those driving into Thomasville. Suggested improvements include burying power lines, reducing five lanes of vehicular traffic down to three, adding formal on-street parking, street trees, and protected bicycle lanes. These public improvements can in turn help spur commercial and residential infill development in vacant parcels, as well as encouraging the revitalization of the beloved Imperial Hotel, Thomasville’s only historically African American-owned hotel.


A hotel downtown?

Jefferson and Crawford

 Behind Broad Street (which is about as beautiful a main street as one can find in America) are many streets that are less beautiful. A Downtown can support more than one main street and a few connecting streets. A Downtown implies many blocks of great streets. The corner of Jefferson and Crawford Streets could make an excellent location for a Downtown Hotel or, at least, several “main street style” buildings. Presently that block contains an important surface parking lot. This sequence recommends a mid-block, low-level parking garage hidden behind the hotel that triples the parking unobtrusively, while allowing Jackson Street to become a great street.   

Behind Broad Street (which is about as beautiful a main street as one can find in America) are many streets that are less beautiful. A Downtown can support more than one main street and a few connecting streets. A Downtown implies many blocks of great streets. The corner of Jefferson and Crawford Streets could make an excellent location for a Downtown Hotel or, at least, several “main street style” buildings. Presently that block contains an important surface parking lot. This sequence recommends a mid-block, low-level parking garage hidden behind the hotel that triples the parking unobtrusively, while allowing Jackson Street to become a great street.   


How might neighborhoods be revitalized?

Lester Street

 It’s natural for a town to focus on its Downtown first, it’s the place everyone in the town has in common. Downtowns see investment in streets, public spaces, and buildings and then, invariably, and understandably, residents say “Bring some of that investment to my neighborhood.” This is not to say that towns aren’t always working on everywhere, they are, but even still, noticeable investment in neighborhoods that is  as high quality  as the investments in the Downtown bring towns together.  Lester Street is an important neighborhood street. It needs resurfacing and dedicated sidewalks, street trees to shade pedestrians and add to property values, new homes infilling between existing homes in the form of for-profit and non-profit development, and façade improvements to historic structures. Lester Street needs an organized constituency dedicated to that street that works with the town to find public funds, and attract new investment.  

It’s natural for a town to focus on its Downtown first, it’s the place everyone in the town has in common. Downtowns see investment in streets, public spaces, and buildings and then, invariably, and understandably, residents say “Bring some of that investment to my neighborhood.” This is not to say that towns aren’t always working on everywhere, they are, but even still, noticeable investment in neighborhoods that is as high quality as the investments in the Downtown bring towns together.

Lester Street is an important neighborhood street. It needs resurfacing and dedicated sidewalks, street trees to shade pedestrians and add to property values, new homes infilling between existing homes in the form of for-profit and non-profit development, and façade improvements to historic structures. Lester Street needs an organized constituency dedicated to that street that works with the town to find public funds, and attract new investment.  


What about "pop-up" parks?

Creative District

 This series of images illustrates how several small, temporary interventions can transform a blank wall and vacant lot in the Creative District into a location showcasing the work of local artists and supplementing events at the Amphitheatre.  The large expanse of blank wall is utilized as a canvas for murals by local artists, informing passersby that they are within the Creative District.  Food trucks and seating can be located on the adjacent vacant lot to provide refreshments and complement events held at the Amphitheatre.  These temporary uses can occur at this and similar sites throughout the Creative District to give life to otherwise unused spaces as they await future development.

This series of images illustrates how several small, temporary interventions can transform a blank wall and vacant lot in the Creative District into a location showcasing the work of local artists and supplementing events at the Amphitheatre.  The large expanse of blank wall is utilized as a canvas for murals by local artists, informing passersby that they are within the Creative District.  Food trucks and seating can be located on the adjacent vacant lot to provide refreshments and complement events held at the Amphitheatre.  These temporary uses can occur at this and similar sites throughout the Creative District to give life to otherwise unused spaces as they await future development.


What could public housing look like?

 The existing design for public housing shows a block that is made up of three different building types arranged on the site. While it is nice that small public green spaces are established between the buildings, there is virtually no variation and the buildings are monotonous. These vignettes show how buildings could be renovated, or how the public housing could be redesigned in a way that does not displace citizens, but rather improve the quality of life for those who live in and around the community.  One option shows what could be possible if some of the existing structures are replaced with houses that look like the houses in the neighborhood. Live/work units are included to help residents start their own business, a neighborhood resource center, pool, diner/café, and garden are built to create places for the community to gather and grow. Pavilions that could be rented out for parties, or events are included.  The second option shows a reorganized block that shifts the green space to the corner with a neighborhood resource center. The pool, diner/café, pavilions, and community garden are included. All of the public housing is designed to look like the housing in the neighborhood with single family, multi-family, and live/work dwellings.

The existing design for public housing shows a block that is made up of three different building types arranged on the site. While it is nice that small public green spaces are established between the buildings, there is virtually no variation and the buildings are monotonous. These vignettes show how buildings could be renovated, or how the public housing could be redesigned in a way that does not displace citizens, but rather improve the quality of life for those who live in and around the community.

One option shows what could be possible if some of the existing structures are replaced with houses that look like the houses in the neighborhood. Live/work units are included to help residents start their own business, a neighborhood resource center, pool, diner/café, and garden are built to create places for the community to gather and grow. Pavilions that could be rented out for parties, or events are included.

The second option shows a reorganized block that shifts the green space to the corner with a neighborhood resource center. The pool, diner/café, pavilions, and community garden are included. All of the public housing is designed to look like the housing in the neighborhood with single family, multi-family, and live/work dwellings.


How can we highlight signature spaces?

Broad Street

 While the heart of Broad Street is a beautiful central gathering place for Thomasville, the entry approach to this signature public space could be improved with a series of enhancements over time.  These include: a more continuous canopy of shade trees along sidewalks, a well-placed focal feature in the center of the street to add civic beauty and traffic-calming, sensitively-scaled and designed street-oriented infill development, and additional small pocket parks. 

While the heart of Broad Street is a beautiful central gathering place for Thomasville, the entry approach to this signature public space could be improved with a series of enhancements over time.  These include: a more continuous canopy of shade trees along sidewalks, a well-placed focal feature in the center of the street to add civic beauty and traffic-calming, sensitively-scaled and designed street-oriented infill development, and additional small pocket parks. 


What could the Roses site be?

 Redevelopment of the site of the former Roses store, nestled between several important local historic districts, presents an opportunity to help reconnect this portion of Thomasville.  The site is large enough to accommodate a wide range of uses and building types.  Any design configuration should feature street-oriented buildings which respect the scale and character of the surrounding historic neighborhoods and help complete Thomasville’s network of high quality public spaces.

Redevelopment of the site of the former Roses store, nestled between several important local historic districts, presents an opportunity to help reconnect this portion of Thomasville.  The site is large enough to accommodate a wide range of uses and building types.  Any design configuration should feature street-oriented buildings which respect the scale and character of the surrounding historic neighborhoods and help complete Thomasville’s network of high quality public spaces.