The south wall of Dunkin Donuts is a plain beige concrete brick siding that is UGLY. In front of the wall is a four-person wide side walk that allows for the heavy foot traffic of college students and professors that come in from the east side. This wall is around 10 feet and could have a demanding presence if it was not beige and I’ll say it again UGLY. There is no true problem with the space except for that it is a missed opportunity for the community to come together. Through the addition of art this wall could become a photo hot spot for the community and E Woodruff could become safer because of the increased presence of people to this area. A second problem space we noticed was close to the Dunkin wall. It is the area directly in front of the coffee shop. Well in front and below. The inlaid courtyard in front of ChaTime is the second problem area our group found. The massive stone steps while appropriate on a Renaissance Villa are out of place in this small area. Not only are the steps taking up absurd amounts of space, but the space is even more cut down by ChaTime having a fake façade two feet out from the actual edge of their building. The area of the courtyard that is left over is inhabitable because while it is inlaid, outside of having walls, there is no resemblance of a roof or protection against the elements. Through a redesign of the stairs to a more modern design and implementation of some sort of roof element the space could become a hot spot and an off-campus getaway.
To change the wall space, we could follow the outline given by the concrete blocks and invite the community in to take a block and color in it. In the horizontal lines of filler between the blocks some light feature could be introduced to bring the space alive at night and also increase safety as people walk home from high street at night. Another way to revitalize the space would be to invite a local artist to create a mural for the wall, again will some sort of lighting feature.
The inlaid courtyard could be fixed through a plethora of artists instillations. One artist could be brought in to add overhead lighting, to avoid this being simple outdoor lights the artist could take influence from the shops around and design the lights as donuts, coffee cups, Chinese food, etc. Or any other idea they could come up with to light the space at night and tie the area together. Another artist could be invited to design a modern set of stairs that allow access to the area while not being as bulky as the existing steps. The newly opened area could be revitalized with tables and umbrellas to allow protection against sunlight and rain. The umprellas could be a simple navy on the outside but once opened would have different artists work painted on the inside. This allows artists to come in and individualize the space while not overpowering the small area with too much. The building itself could also be painted a new color (not beige) to bring new life to the space.
This project while covering a small area is one that would take some time to fully complete. To ease the business owners’ minds about this issue of a loss of business off of the main street there would be signs posted around the construction of the inlaid entrance stating where the side entrance is for the underground complex. The signs would then continue on the path much like road detour signs work. This would diminish the loss of customers because the signs along with the construction would intrigue people and then the business would be on their mind and they would go to check it out. The mural on the side wall would go up first and be finished in a couple days because it is simply a change of façade. This new mural would catch the public’s interest and be a way to excite people for the upcoming newly revamped store fronts/courtyard. To finance this project, we will go to the businesses whose store main entrances are in the courtyard. Through strong presentations with data about the increases in business seen for these shops post construction we will gain profits to start and pay for these projects. Another group we may be able to approach for money to implement this plan is the City of Columbus. The courtyard is not currently handicap accessible and through the use of the city policies that state all public places need to be accessible to those with disabilities we could gain funding to redo the stairs to allow for all people to access the shops and areas.