During six rounds of hourly observations, DFI assessed the effectiveness of the two-hour parking limit signs. Turns out, most downtown patrons are fairly respectful!
Downtown Framingham, Inc.’s Small Business November #shopdowntown social media campaign encouraged citizens everywhere to take photos in local downtown businesses and post them on social media platforms from November 1 through December 14, 2018.
By Shanleigh Reardon, Project Manager, DFI
Downtown Framingham, Inc. hosted its first Creative Economy and Cultural Tour on Saturday, June 23rd.
The tour stopped at Farm Pond and Howard Street Studios. A bus, provided by Kiessling Transit, escorted the tour goers between stops.
On the first stop of the bus tour, a representative from Sudbury Valley Trustees accompanied tour goers on a boat ride around the pond. During the tour, he highlighted the diverse wildlife and the conservation efforts of Farm Pond. On shore, SVT also displayed wildlife photography that has been taken on and around the pond over the past few years.
Also on shore, a representative from KIG Real Estate Advisers shared renderings and answered questions about their upcoming housing development on Fountain Street, where the Bancroft Building currently stands. Plans for the development include a swimming pool and three buildings that will hold studio, one- and two- bedroom units. The real estate firm hopes to attract young professionals from Boston who will be interested in living close to the commuter rail.
District 8 City Councillor Judith Grove raised questions about the increase of traffic the development will likely bring to the area. The planned parking areas would be accessible only via Fountain Street in an area where visibility is already a problem due to the CSX Bridge and the orientation of the Bancroft Building.
The developer said the current staircases that impede visibility at the intersection will be removed. He added most potential residents of the development will not be driving as much as they will be walking, biking and riding the train.
After Farm Pond, the tour stopped at Howard Street Studios. Local artists Jay Pendexter, Cathy Gruetzke-Blais, Judy Schneider and Vanessa Hargrove Pendexter opened their studios and allowed those on the tour to view their art, their work spaces, and ask questions.
After exploring the studios, everyone gathered around a timeline where the artists each spoke briefly about how and when art has impacted them over the course of their lives.
Judy Schneider said she would try to stick to a linear timeline, however, the way she thinks - much like her art - is more abstract.
Jay Pendexter said his art has been greatly influenced by nature and wildlife. He says he owes this influence to his upbringing in Michigan and Minnesota. Pendexter works primarily in watercolors but also creates prints and uses oil pastels in his pieces.
Cathy Gruetzke-Blais said her goal for this summer is to spend most of her time in her studio on Howard Street. Being a school teacher and a mother to teenage twins, Grueztke-Blais said she hasn't been able to spend as much time on her art as she would like. She added, having a creative work space, like Howard Street, allows her to connect with other creative people and to dedicate time and space to her art.
Vanessa Hargrove Pendexter said she is currently trying to get reconnected to her creativity through photography. Pendexter said she grew up very lucky and had many opportunities to take art classes as a student.
After the presentation at Howard Street Studios, the tour returned to its starting point at Braza Grill where tour goers checked out the new restaurant and its event space.
Earlier in the day, DFI hosted Berklee College of Music student Jeremy Green at Sofa Cafe as the last installment of the organization's Taste of Downtown Framingham Concert Series. Green performed current pop hits on his viola for the community while they enjoyed coffee and breakfast.
In collaboration with Downtown Framingham, Inc. (DFI), Depot 417 (formerly the Deluxe Depot Diner) brings you Crosstie night this Wednesday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the biweekly Xchange Depot, featuring a lively scene to build social capital while supporting our area's creative economy.
Enjoy burgers and Depot 417's famous appetizers while getting to know your neighbors better through speed friending. Don't hesitate to try your hand at downtown trivia, either.
If you're feeling creative, head to the Succulent Creation Station or the Make-A-Minion table. While you're looking around, vote for your favorite piece of art work from Felicia Tuttle of Howard Street Studios.
Framingham's commuter rail station, next to Depot 417, is the foundation for Framingham's transit-oriented development. Because transit-oriented development prioritizes pedestrian and cyclist mobility, DFI will give you the opportunity to show where you prefer to bike while also supporting MA Bill S. 3262, An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities.
Aside from building social capital, heightening our creative economy, and demonstrating cycling advocacy, you can also relax and play traditional board games, to include Yahtzee, Scrabble, Risk, and Clue. Don't miss out on free raffles for gift cards to Depot 417.
Downtown Framingham, Inc. is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that builds business, community, and culture through four tenets of the Main Street America model, which include public design, promotion, organizational partnerships, and economic vitality.
Read more about DFI here: http://downtownframinghaminc.org
Depot 417 hosts on-site parking at 417 Waverly Street.