An artist’s rendering of the proposed gateway sign for Carytown, which was designed by Todd Liverman and Acorn Sign Graphics Rendering courtesy City of Richmond, Economic & Community Development Rendering courtesy City of Richmond, Economic & Community Development
In Carytown, some improvements are happening right now, and others may take a while. By the time you read this, an Art Deco-inspired visitor drop-off and directory sign should be installed across from Pink on the south side of Cary Street.
This is part of a $320,000 project that includes installing a destination marker at Carytown's western approach. This would replace the present wooden sign.
Carytown's new gateway is designed, the money is ready, the materials have been chosen — but that little bit of grass by the exit ramp presents an invisible challenge. Jeannie Welliver, a project-development coordinator for the city's economic and community development department, says the slice is where two jurisdictions come together. This is the end of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority's right-of-way for the Downtown Expressway and the beginning of accompanying territory administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation's Interstate 195.
Welliver is determining the property's status through discussions with VDOT, as well as whether the plot of earth — which is no bigger than a typical Fan District townhouse's front yard — could be purchased outright, "or do a land swap if there's some asset they want."
The proposed sign portrays an urbane dynamism for Carytown's entrance: Granite and stainless steel are nestled amid new magnolias and ground covering, and context is provided with retaining walls — goodbye, chain-link fence. The sign also includes an interchangeable feature to allow the retail district's merchants to display upcoming events.