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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72 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Manitou Springs, Colo. (pop. 4,992) is centrally located in the state, just northwest of Colorado Springs, southwest of the Garden of the Gods and east of the towering 14,115-ft. Pike's Peak. "Manitou," a Native American word (French spelling) for "spirit," is known for its small town charm, its 11 mineral springs and a historic district rifle with art galleries, gift shops and trading posts with Native American handicrafts. In 2003, however, the city fathers and a number of citizen groups took a hard look at Manitou Springs' historic downtown. It was clearly long suffering from age, neglect and a decaying infrastructure. Back then, Fodor's Travel Guide characterized Manitou Springs as "quaint, but [a] dingy little town." Revenues were down, and there were multiple vacant storefronts. The city tittered on the brink of bankruptcy, and there was even talk about annexation by Colorado Springs. No one doubted the city needed revitalizing, and the first step in that effort would be the design and construction of a new streetscape for main street, Manitou Avenue. The city hired an economic development director, who in turn retained Nolte Vertical Five (NV5) to provide program management assistance to the city and the Manitou Springs Economic Development Council (EDC) for grant writing, funding strategies, civil engineering design, urban design, drainage analysis, roadway design, landscape architecture, surveying, construction specifications, drafting, construction observation, and other work for the downtown revitalization project. An overall conceptual plan was developed, which was broken down into seven phases. A proposed construction schedule, anticipated costs and potential funding sources were established. As the project progressed, a series of successful grant applications, and preliminary design, final design, and construction documents were prepared for each phase. Funding NV5 helped determine the process and possible funding allocations for the Manitou Avenue revitalization plan, and worked with the EDC, the city, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) to After Before Dingy to 'Darling' by Michael Hussey, ASLA, RLA, Planning Manger, NV5 Editor Stephen Kelly Manitou Avenue Makeover

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