Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2014

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Mimosa Kaleidoscope, Morgantown, N.C. Left Two alleys in Morgantown, N.C., were closed to vehicles and converted into pedestrian walkways that connect parking lots to the downtown shopping district. The walls of adjacent buildings were painted to reflect new wall sconce lighting, and local artists were commissioned to add custom wall murals and sculptures. Two of the sculptures, by Morganton artist Dean Curfman, act as removable bollards. Right and Inset A staggered screen gate deters vehicles and creates a transparent visual barrier for alley utilities, while allowing pedestrians to walk through. The area was resurfaced with a textured pattern, which was extended across the main sidewalk to provide a visual connection to the alley. The Mimosa Kaleidoscope project transformed two alleys and one mini park in Morgantown, N.C., earning an Award of Merit for Best Outdoor Space Improvement at the North Carolina Main Street Conference in January 2012. The 10-foot wide alleys were historically open for vehicular use, but the narrow width, low visibility and the presence of pedestrians created an awkward and unappealing environment. The atmosphere was further degraded by the lack of lighting during evening hours. City planners and a citizen art committee crafted the remodel, led by Michael Berley, the city of Morgantown's landscape architect. City staff also managed the project, which was partially installed by city crews. The catch basin, landscape island construction and Streetprint were subcontracted to a local installer, Cactx Surfaces of Winston-Salem, N.C. Curb cuts were eliminated, and landscape islands were added adjacent to the on-street parking to further deter vehicles from the alley, while connecting the walkway from the rear parking lots to the street. Plantings in the islands complement the existing shade trees in the streetscape. The third section of the project, a mini-park, also connected parking to the shopping district's sidewalk. The park needed to be totally reworked, leading to the demolition of an existing small tree and rotting fence, which made room for a lush planting design with multiple trees and plants for year-round interest. A custom sculpture and bench, selected in a competition judged by a citizen art committee, were created for the park. The winning artist was Grace Cathey from Waynesville, N.C., who created the Mimosa Kaleidoscope to honor Morganton's history with the tree and the 30th annual Historic Morganton Festival. Landscape Architecture by Michael Berley, PLA h a rd s c a p e s s p o t l i g h t

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