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The Lights of Broadway . . . Eagle, Coloradoi? 1/2 s Broadway, That Is

By Britina Design Group, Inc.




The new mid-block crossings in Eagle, Colo. allow for easier pedestrian movement and flow along the street. Pools of light cast by the cut-off pole fixtures are supplemented by the planter uplights, which illuminate the trunks of honey locusts and aspens.
Photos by Tim Piper
Rain Bird
TLE
Playworld Came America

For the historic four-block Broadway, Colo. streetscape renovation project, the quality of the final design is not only in its details, materials and vision but in the way it authentically evokes the character, history and culture of downtown Eagle, Colorado. The renovated Eagle streetscape is beautifully crafted, a useful and responsive pedestrian environment that brings the history and culture of the region to light.

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The custom-designed entry monuments (gateways) were designed and detailed by Britina Design Group and fabricated by NeoSource. Original plans called for three gateway monuments, but because of property issues, the primary gateway was never installed. Two gateways were installed at either end of the project area (north side pictured). The gateways stand 19' tall (3' tall stone base, 16' tall tower with a 2' 3" square upper pedestal and 1' 9" square cap just below the dome) and are constructed primarily of powder-coated aluminum. The stone base veneer and cap materials match the seat walls. The panel on the tower (behind the letters and cross bracing) and the eagle sculpture are made of copper. The panel has a medium/dark green patina finish and the eagle sculpture has a light copper finish. The eagle is mounted atop a 18" diameter polycarbonate dome (painted yellow from inside) illuminated from within by a white LED array and connected to the tower with 2" copper straps. The letters are fabricated reverse pan channel letters in powder-coated aluminum with LED halo illumination.

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Broadway
Stretching from Grand Avenue to the north and culminating at 5th Street, the historic four-block Broadway streetscape commercial district has functioned as the heart and front door of Eagle County since its declaration as the county seat in 1921. As the historic main street of Eagle, Colorado, the Broadway streetscape has grown with the community and has a long history of supporting local commercial and civic events. Over the years, the community feel of Broadway has remained. Many of the businesses and shops reflect the unique and welcoming character of historic Eagle, Colo.

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The custom-designed gateway monuments at the north and south sides of the Broadway, Colo. streetscape recall the early transportation history of the city, drawing from 1930s era highway and train travel signage and monuments. i? 1/2 Britina Design Group


The $4 million renovation of the sidewalks, utilities, site furnishings, intersections, signage and pavement along four-blocks of Broadway was a collaborative effort from the start. Recognizing the economic importance of a downtown that encourages walking, shopping and activity, the town of Eagle set aside funds to redesign Broadway and bring it up to date.

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Looking north on Broadway to historic downtown Eagle, Colo. At dusk the 10-ft. light poles with dual Providence luminaries (Architectural Area Lighting) and 70-watt metal halide lamps invite you to explore the renovated downtown streetscape.


Relationship to Context
Closed off to through-traffic with the construction of the County Building over 20 years ago, the streetscapes of downtown Eagle were suffering from a lack of through-traffic and unappealing and bland pedestrian spaces. As new developments adjacent to the historic downtown began to design i? 1/2 downtowni? 1/2 shopping environments, long-standing local downtown merchants and officials grew concerned about the future of the true historic downtown.

They wanted the historic downtown to function as the front door to the community of Eagle, and reflect the history and the recreational opportunities within the Eagle watershed. By working closely with the town and community, the redeveloped streetscape reflects the historic and regional character of the downtown and the regional landscape.

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The glow of the cut-off banner pole fixtures creates pools of light at intersections. Recessed wall-mounted indirect step lights (Pace) in the sandstone planter have a black finish and a 20 watt metal halide lamps to cast light onto the pedestrian pathways.
Photos: Tim Piper

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Public Matters
During a series of public meetings between the town leaders, the project team and the residents and business owners of Eagle, an open discussion of Broadwayi? 1/2 s potential was undertaken. Britina Design Group led the public meetings with a visual presentation of the history and character of Broadway, and then solicited impressions, concerns and visions for the streetscape renovation. After documenting these thoughts, the firm used them to shape two conceptual streetscape plans and presented them for public discussion at a second open meeting. The final streetscape design included elements drawn from the history of Broadway as a major commercial district and arterial, as well as its current function as the gateway to Eagle County and its recreational and tourist destinations.

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The before and after reveals a streetscape in front of the Town Hall formerly defined by cars, with a narrow and uninviting sidewalk. The concrete block seat wall has a thin cut natural stone veneer (Aspenbark i? 1/2 ThinRocki? 1/2 by Robinson Rock). The cap is a three-inch thick Colorado buff sandstone. Three-inch square recessed LED marker luminaires (Radiant Lighting) with tempered frosted glass lens and blue LED array were placed throughout the streetscape to accent the granite river-run boulders located within seat walls. The boulders were hand-selected from a construction site in Aspen and vary in size and color, but are mostly gray, tan and green.

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Design Program and Intent
In its concept and details, the redesigned Broadway streetscape evokes the feel and flow of water as it moves through the Eagle watershed (Brush Creek and Eby Creek which extend south and north of town and significant acreages along the Eagle River and Interstate 70 east and west of town). Thematically, water was chosen due to its importance to the regional landscape, as well as its connection to the history of Eagle, whose name derives from the eagle-feather-shaped path the water takes as it moves down into the valley. The redesigned streetscape also hearkens back to the history of Broadway as a major commercial and arterial street. The custom-designed gateway monuments at either end of the streetscape, in particular, recall the early transportation history of Broadway, drawing from 1930s era highway and train travel signage and monuments.

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The old streetscape, minus a rutted and narrower dirt street and the swinging doors of a saloon, looks not unlike dozens of generic towns depicted in cowboy movies. The new sidewalks, bump outs, pedestrian crossings, planters, new pole lighting and tree plantings have truly transformed the look of Broadway. The improvements to the building facades has also refreshed the towni? 1/2 s look and is an example of how i? 1/2 private investment follows public investment.i? 1/2

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Two Distinct Sidewalk Areas
The redesigned Broadway streetscape has two distinct types of sidewalk areas. Within each block, naturalistic and informal spaces on one side of the street complement more traditional streetscape elements on the other. Integrated into the design of these formal and informal spaces are two types of parking: parallel parking adjacent to the natural areas, and angled parking along the more formal walkways. As you move through the Broadway streetscape, these natural and formal areas alternate along its length, connected and woven together by swathes of textured and colored pavement. Narrowed pedestrian crossings at intersections and mid-blocks also help unite the design, while creating more inviting and safe places for people to cross the street. By creating both informal and formal areas, the redeveloped streetscape is not only reflective of the unique history and culture of Eagle, it also creates a more dynamic and exciting place to be.

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The sidewalk pole lighting here consists of single luminaries to bring the scale of the street down to a more intimate level. This space in front of a local restaurant allows for a natural overflow of people and outdoor seating. The landscape architects selected a five-ft. square i? 1/2 Pavonei? 1/2 tree grate (Urban Accessories) because it worked so well with the i? 1/2 riveri? 1/2 design theme. The grated tree is an imperial honeylocust.

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Design Themes of the Broadway Streetscape: Nature Along the Street
In the more naturalistic streetscape areas, formal street trees and pole lights are abandoned in favor of curved rock seat walls, large landscape planters, boulders and specialty paving that curves and flows, water-like, down the street. Here, pedestrians can gather on generous seat walls, surrounded by native plants and shaded by informally grouped ornamental trees. Even in the pavement details, the colors and textures of a fossilized streambed reinforce ties to the Eagle River and watershed.

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The landscape architect specified a series of different types, sizes and colors of concrete pavers on the project. The typical sidewalk treatment throughout the project was 6" x 12" pavers in a light brown/beige blend (City Stone series, Pavestone) in a herringbone pattern. Imperial honeylocust are the new street trees here. Angled parking is along the more formal walkways to accommodate larger trucks and vans that are common in this mountain community. Parallel parking is found adjacent to the natural areas.

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History in the Details
The naturalistic areas of Broadway are complemented by the more linear and grid-like design of the trees, seating and lighting in the more formal portions of the streetscape. Here, the same materials that reflect the flow and feel of water are organized in a linear fashion. Instead of informal flowering tree groupings, large canopy trees in decorative metal tree grates are evenly spaced along the street. Seating, too, is more traditional, with benches sited to create gathering areas where pedestrians can rest and window-shop at their leisure.

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Before and After: The main accent paving (left side) incorporates i? 1/2 Venetian Stonei? 1/2 nontumbled pavers (Pavestone) in a random pattern to simulate the areai? 1/2 s riverbeds. The pavers are a mixture of sizes (6" x 6", 6" x 9", 6" x 12" and 12" x 12") and colors (70% winter blend, 25% antique green and 5% charcoal). All site pavers in sidewalk areas are sand set in 1" to 1/2" sand setting beds with sand swept joints on a 6" compacted road base.


Broadway at Night
At night, specialty lighting creates a sense of festive mystery along the streetscape, while protecting views of the night sky by using cut-off lights and low voltages. In the naturalized areas, colored uplights cast serene and intriguing patterns on native stone boulders, while imbedded lights in the planters and walls draw attention to seating and allow shadows to illustrate the texture and color of the redesigned pavement. In planting beds, uplights also focus attention onto ornamental trees and shrubs. In contrast to the more dramatic lighting in the naturalistic planting beds, in the stretches of traditional streetscape, pedestrian-scaled pole lights create a graceful rhythm along the sidewalk.

Project Collaboration
The Broadway streetscape renovation was grounded in an open and collaborative team effort. As the design team lead, Britina Design Group was the principal interface between the town of Eagle and the project team. Establishing the initial relationship with the community led to public meetings that helped design and envision the streetscape, develope the final construction documents, and oversee the in-field installation and completion of the redesigned streetscape.

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As the heart of the community of Eagle, Colorado, the renovated Broadway streetscape is the venue for parades, festivals and other regional celebrations.
Photo: Town of Eagle

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Environmental Impact and Concerns
In its vision and details, the Broadway streetscape renovation shows a commitment to environmental stewardship. All project materials were chosen for their durability and sustainability. The lighting incorporates both low-voltage and night-sky-saving cut-off fixtures, which reduce energy use and preserve the natural environment. The large planters and i? 1/2 greeni? 1/2 areas along the street filter stormwater and allow for a diverse and habitat-sensitive palette of plant materials. The street tree palette was chosen for its environmental sensitivity, and existing street trees were preserved and incorporated into the redesigned streetscape.

Design for Historic Downtowns
Preserving the authentic experience of historic downtowns is critically important. As the heart of many communities, historic downtowns are the places were parades are held, festivals celebrated, neighbors meet and people gather. To that end, their degree of inclusiveness, authenticity and stewardship should reflect the highest community ideals.

Unlike the private i? 1/2 downtownsi? 1/2 of enclosed malls or corporate shopping environments (which increasingly incorporate some of the themes, elements and architectural styles of historic downtowns), historic downtowns reflect the messy, chaotic and quirky nature of their unique histories and people. That is what makes them feel so welcoming and real.

Historic downtowns are a unique part of our cultural fabric, a touchstone for traditions and place-centered activities that have deep cultural roots. Envisioning the streetscapes of historic downtowns in a deep and thoughtful way is one of the most important mandates for the profession of landscape architecture.

About the Firm
Britina Design Group was the lead consultant on the Broadway streetscape renovation. Britina Design Group is supported by over 60 years of combined experience in land planning, landscape architecture, construction documentation and project administration. The firmi? 1/2 s range of project experience encompasses urban design, streetscapes, residential communities, park and recreation facilities, commercial and business parks, and hotel and resort developments. At Britina Design Group, the breadth and depth of our work reflects our belief in the power of design to energize, inspire, illuminate and beatify. We offer a comprehensive range of services, from project visioning to planning, design and construction management. By working closely with our clients, we create places and landscapes that are not only successful, but also responsive and inspiring.

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Broadway, Colo. Streetscape Team
Client: Town of Eagle, Colo. i? 1/2 Willy Powell, Town Manager; Tom Gosiorowski, Town Engineer; Bill Gray, Town Planner
Design / Consultants:
Landscape Architect, Lead Consultant: Britina Design Group i? 1/2 Bob Couri, Principal; Kristin Cypher, Director of Business Development; Tim Piper, Senior Associate; Chris Cooper, Associate
Civil Engineer: V3 Companies of Colorado i? 1/2 Chris Pangburn, Katie Ross, Lan Van
Electrical Engineer/Lighting Designer: ME-Engineers i? 1/2 Steve Peterson
Irrigation Designer: Hines Irrigation Consultants i? 1/2 Jim Hines, Michelle Peterson
General Contractor: Martinez Western Constructors
Landscape and Irrigation Contractor: SPL, Inc.
Electrical Contractor: Western Slope Electrical

Suppliers / Products
Lighting: MH Lighting - AAL (Pedestrian Pole Lights, Banner Poles)
Pavers: Pavestone
Site Furnishings: Landscape Forms (Benches, Trash Receptacles); Stonewear (Planter Pots); Urban Accessories (Tree Grates)
Stone Veneer: Robinson Rock
Custom Fabrication: NeoSource (Gateway Monuments, Bike Racks)

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About Eagle, Colorado

Eagle (pop. 3,032) is a small town in west central Colorado that draws on its history and its rural western character for its identity. The community sits at 6,600 ft. elevation and is surrounded by open lands and mountain vistas.

The Eagle Area Community Plan (March 30, 2010) notes the 1970s, '80s and '90s saw growth related to skiing and resort tourism in eastern Eagle County. The ski resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek brought many new workers and second homeowners to the valley, escalating real estate prices and a westward migration of residents and businesses in Eagle County toward areas less influenced by resort tourism. The quiet agricultural communities of Eagle and Gypsum experienced unprecedented residential and commercial growth.

Eaglei? 1/2 s community plan includes preserving historic Main Street and the old town residential neighborhood character and keeping new structures at i? 1/2 appropriate scale, design and architecture to blend in with (the) existing character.i? 1/2

The community plan also notes the unincorporated lands that surround Eaglei? 1/2 Eagle River corridor, Brush Creek Valley, the agricultural lands east and west of town, and the Eby Creek and Castle Peak areas north of towni? 1/2 also contribute significantly to the towni? 1/2 s identity and are important to preserve.

If the town sounds vaguely familiar, it may be because Eagle received some unwanted attention as the site of the Kobe Bryant sexual assault trial.

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November 22, 2019, 12:04 pm PDT

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