Case Study: Eagle Street
“The street has been given a new lease on life."
Eagle Street has long been the heart of North Adams and draws lots of visitors for big regional events, but in 2017 fell on tough times with many retail and full building vacancies. The street needed a renewed sense of place with new branding, an identity allowing people to reconnect with the street, giving a passive space to recreate in the heart of a rebuilding commercial district.
To create a more permanent sense of place on the street, NAmazing Initiative added new storefront blade signage to all retail stores, a gateway sign to welcome visitors to the street, trash and recycling bins throughout the street, and a parklet that were all locally fabricated. A new mural and public pocket park were created, including space for community gardens and community coffee events drawing neighbors from across the region to meet and spend time on the street. Future plans for the street now include turning the street into a pedestrian priority “woonerf” that will allow for a more relaxed, vibrant pedestrian experience while visiting the district.
“The street has been given a new lease on life. Whether it’s coffee at 7:30 am with 40 new friends, or hanging out into the evening with a group of neighbors under the café lights of the parklet. Eagle Street is seeing its history preserved, and its future brightened for current and future generations to enjoy.” - Event Attendee
This project has resulted in an increase in foot traffic, the amount of time people spend on the street, and the draw to the corridor for both visitors and locals alike. Weekly coffee dates at the parklet have brought 40-80 people to the street every Friday morning, and events held over the summer bring thousands of individuals to celebrate the improved Eagle Street. Businesses love the updates and have been inspired to invest themselves. New businesses have filled vacant retail spaces and new investors have brought new life to tired old structures.
- Project: Eagle Street Initiative
- Project Type: Public Art, Events, Alleys and Streetscapes, Gardens and Greenspaces
- Project Location: North Adams, Massachusetts
- Crowdfunding Raise: $35,871
- Crowdgranting Match: $25,000
- Patrons: 225
- In-Kind Amount: $5,000
- Total Project Estimate: $65,871
About Commonwealth Places
Commonwealth Places, a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity, was a crowdgranting challenge program to activate new or distressed public places and community spaces. The program was open to municipalities and nonprofits to improve low- and moderate-income communities in Massachusetts.