Tuesday, March 6, 2018

DMC Contests Seek Public Proposals for Beale Signs, Handy Park

Posted By on Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 2:46 PM

click to enlarge Steel archways have gone up on Beale. But the DMC wants designers to treat them as blank canvases. - DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS COMMISSION
  • Downtown Memphis Commission
  • Steel archways have gone up on Beale. But the DMC wants designers to treat them as blank canvases.

The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) opened two design contests Tuesday, one to re-design the facades of the archways over Beale Street and another to “reimagine (Handy Park) as a higher-functioning multi-purpose venue.”

"We had been planning the Handy Park Challenge for some time," Jennifer Oswalt, president and CEO of the DMC, said in a statement. “As for the Beale Archway Contest, we decided to open it up after public response to the initial (request for proposals)-winning drawings.

“Beale is one of our greatest cultural assets and we just think we can do better — better for Beale Street and better for Downtown."
The first-place-winning designer for the Beale archways will be awarded $1,500. Second and third place winners will get $750 and $500, respectively. The contest is open to ”all graphic designers, engineers, architects, and students.”

The original archway design featured the Beale Street logo and “Memphis” and “Tennessee” in blue neon.
  • Downtown Memphis Commission

The Handy Park Challenge is ”an opportunity for architects and designers to help Downtown think about how best to transform Handy Park from an underutilized public space back into a vibrant community asset.” DMC officials hope to see a ”remarkable transformation” of the space, similar to what was seen at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park.

“The DMC believes that Handy Park can be made into a first-class concert venue, public space, and Downtown amenity for our entire community,” reads the contest application.

The first place winner gets $5,000. Second and third place finishers get $3,000 and $1,000, respectively. The best student design will $1,000.
click to enlarge Handy Park as seen from Beale Street. - DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS COMMISSION
  • Downtown Memphis Commission
  • Handy Park as seen from Beale Street.

The winners will be selected by a panel of Downtown stakeholders, Beale Street merchants, and members of the Beale Street Task Force. However, winning the contest does not obligate the DMC to build the design or to hire the winning person or firm.

DMC hopes to complete the Handy Park project by March 2019.

Both contests opened Tuesday. The archways contest closes Monday, March 19. The Handy Park Challenge closes on Tuesday, April 27.

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