The Tejido Group came to Winslow at the city's invitation from the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona. Graduate students, under the direction of Professor Mark Frederickson, are creating a downtown plan for revitalization for Winslow.
In a site analysis on e student found that while Winslow is windy, it also has a good water table, is on I-40 and is a travel destination from both Phoenix in the south and the reservations to the north. The idea of a design for revitalization is to encourage cultural and environmental tourism.
Winslow is the center of northeast Arizona and the epicenter for the southwestern cultural experience of Native American and Spanish cultures. It also has settlement history in Brigham City and more lately in Route 66.
One student concentrated on trails, both urban and rural, around Winslow. This included a river restoration project with the planting of cottonwoods and willows and trees at the gateways to the city. The idea of Winslow as an oasis in the Little Colorado River basin was echoed in several designs. The idea of planting more trees was in every design and Janice Griffith told some of the students that this was also one of her long-time dreams for Winslow. "We used top have more trees than we have now," she said.
For downtown, one spot emphasized in several designs was the strip along the railroad just purchased by the city. It can be an urban trail, a buffer against train noise, and a path from one end of Winslow to the other - from La Posada to the Hubbell Trading Post. One design showed a walkway over the tracks, connecting the park with a cultural center on the south side. A water tower, viewing stand was part of this too. One creative idea was to use some of the railway discards to build park features.
The need for regular and consistent events was emphasized. "Downtown needs to be seen as a 'happening' place," one student said. Another suggestion was to add a market for farmers, teens and artists, using some of the vacant space.
Infrastructure needs included street scaping (mostly with trees), pocket parks, street cafes and plazas. Some of these things are already in designs being considered by the Library's Downtown Redevelopment Committee and some of its members were there to look at these ideas.
Funding begins with presentation of a master plan for the downtown area. The Tejido Group has done several, including one for Clarkdale.
We can all look forward to the next visit from the Tejido Group. Come out and meet them.
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