Sue G. Russell
It’s been awhile since local architect Michael McDonough first looked at the line of craft kiosks at the Grove Arcade and wondered, could that form translate into a bus shelter? Well, sometimes good things take a while to spark to life. Fast forward, and two concrete pads are already in place as part of the Montford Avenue bus shelter intersection project. They are located on Montford, northbound and southbound, at Soco and at Cullowhee, and beg for something special—not just the generic shelter seen at other locations. Soon the neighborhood will be glad the creativity muse visited McDonough, who later committed his design to paper.
Early last year, the Montford Neighborhood Association (MNA) began a process to enable the unique bus shelter design to spring to life. The MNA consulted with the City’s Transportation Department and they agreed to partnering with the MNA. Design meetings ensued with MNA personnel, City staffer Ely Mathes and Tina Councell (owner of Iron Maiden Studios, a potential fabricator.) Approval from the Historic Resources Commission (HRC) was a must and that was obtained mid-summer. Formal acceptance began with Transit Committee acceptance followed by the Mayor and City Council stamping their approval.
The approved project is being undertaken as a partnership, the MNA and the City, with a total cost of about $25,000, split between the two. The shelters will likely be in place by spring of 2017. In addition to their distinctive look, the shelters will feature panels showing Montford’s historic past through images and text. These panels are being written and designed by historian Sharon Fahrer and MNA Board member and newsletter editor Ross Terry.
Look for a new “old look” if you will, likely later this spring here on Montford Avenue. We’ll have a bit of a celebration to commemorate a project involving the collaboration of a lot of people. Stay tuned for details.