Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2017

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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62 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Completed in spring of 2017, this project aimed to enhance the pedestrian experience and re-energize the streetscape. There was extensive public outreach and involvement of the town council and representatives from multiple city departments to create an engaging connector between the Arts District, Village and "Main Street" areas. From sidewalk widening to the addition of clearly marked parking, this project has delivered a positive impact for downtown Cary. Academy Street safely accommodates drivers, public transit, cyclists and pedestrians in an environment focused on walkability and functionality for businesses and events. "Outdoor rooms" are at the core of the reimagined streetscape concept and provide environments for groups to gather and enjoy the active downtown scene. Connected by widened, 10-foot sidewalks that feature intermittent seating, these rooms integrate public art and serve as a distinguishing element. Artistic elements abound along Academy Street, reflecting the district's use as a festival and public performance venue. Jack Mackie, the team's artist, researched the area's history to incorporate art that would resonate with residents. These efforts involved coordination with Cary Visual Arts, a nonprofit that organizes rotating art displays along Academy Street, and the integration of art, such as granite benches carved in the shape of musical instruments and engraved with quotes related to music or Cary's history. Twelve blocks of granite from the North Carolina Granite Quarry in Mount Airy, N.C. were carved by artist Jack Mackie into the shape of musical instruments common to the Carolina Piedmont and Appalachia: mandolin, dulcimer, dobro, violin and courting dulcimer. The benches have etched verses from Yeats and Coleridge, but also from N.C. residents Carl Sandburg, R.R. Richardson and Maya Angelou. The granite has polished or flame finishes. Continued on page 64

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