Tuesday, January 06, 2009

jazzing up the entrances to youngstown

I'm throwing out a request to local designers and artists to sketch out some new entryways into the city of Youngstown.

The top design with accompanying budget and plan of action will be awarded a bottle of absinthe produced in eastern europe.

Currently we have signs of two varieties: one type is along interstates (along I-680 specifically) and are flat little signs existing in the islands of green at certain interchanges, and the other are the street department metal type, essentially street signs usually describing some aspect of accomplishment (ursuline high school championships, sister cities arrangements, for example).

So can we go from blah to bamn! at our entrances, revealing Youngstown as a city with pride and dynamism?

Here is one recent case study, the entrance into the city of Hokitika, capital of greenstone carvers on the southern island of New Zealand.

The rusty allure of the cut letters caught my eye here - perhaps a potential building block of a Youngstown sign.

The oxide runoff on the stone looks cool as well.

similarly colored housing covers the lights to illuminate at night.

with native plants as a backdrop.

or, one can go the natural route:

date for submissions closes on feb 15th.

the bottle contains 750mL of the green fairy, with original seal on top.


Dear Violet said...

My thoughts:

- A Youngstown sign like the unilever logo. Maybe the smaller pieces are "pieces" of Youngstown that represent people/places...

- A metal mosaic type of sign. I like the rust in the one photo on this post. A mix of material that would rust and stainless steel would be interesting. The pieces of the mosaic could be pieces of steel, etc... something that symbolizes Youngstown's history. I think this would be aesthetically interesting but I'm conflicted about representing Youngstown with the steel mills. It's sort of an old and dated representation in a way.

- A sign where the "Youngstown" is sculptural and covered with some kind of live material. Like a giant "Youngstown" Chia Pet!

Janko said...

these are good thoughts.

at the moment, you are in the running the bottle of absinthe.

J.R. said...

Here's my submission:


I consider it incomplete, because I wanted to leave the idea open to interpretation. As I think is obvious in the image, I propose a series of somewhat abstract sculptures that, when viewed from a distance, spell "Youngstown."

The materials can vary. They could be cast concrete. They could be plate steel. (similar to the fence around Star Supply's parking lot) Maybe the individual pieces are like the penguins, and given to local artists to embellish as they wish.

This all allows the sign to be briefly experienced, instead of just passed.

Rick Rowlands said...

The Tod Engine Heritage Park is located about 500 feet within the border of Youngstown on Hubbard Road. Hubbard Road is one of the "forgotten corridors" into the City as the 2010 plan doesn't mention it as being one.

Since our property sits on an angle to the road I want to place something out front that would immediately attract the attention of people driving into town. It just so happens that I discovered and our organization acquired a hot metal car, one of those railroad cars which carried molten iron, in Pittsburgh and plan to place this car on a piece of track along the road. The track has been built but the car still awaits shipment as money is tight and contributions are few. I think it would make a great entrance into Youngstown along Hubbard Road.

Janko said...


that is a cool idea. Now, how do we make it a reality?