Cunningham Quill – Mount Rainier Mixed-Use Town Center Development Plan

2010 AIA Potomac Valley Design Awards Winner
Cunningham Quill
Mount Rainier Mixed-Use Town Center Development Plan
Built, Master Planning
Mount Rainier, MD

(an excerpt from the firm’s submission to the Design Awards competition)

The City of Mount Rainier is an established historic community located on US-1 at the District Line. The city boasts a vibrant artist community, regionally-significant cultural institutions, a neighborhood-serving commercial downtown, active residential and civic participation, and several state-protected historic structures. Over the past decade, city, county and state governments have increasingly recognized significant opportunities for expressing Mount Rainier’s richness and character.

The Mixed-Use Town Center Development Plan articulates a future vision for downtown Mount Rainier through a public participation process. Civic leaders, artists, business owners, property owners, residents and other community members enthusiastically participated in seven community meetings, including a hands-on charrette design session. Their ideas were multi-layered and broad, encompassing topics such as transportation, pedestrian safety, land use, demographics, cultural institutions, environmental issues, bike commuting, economic development, historic preservation and civic participation.

The Development Plan envisions Mount Rainier as a vital, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use town center with special focus on the city’s artistic, historic and environmental traditions. Rather than a singular design parti, the plan vision articulates multilayered ideas: a grand boulevard and traditional main street, separate but interconnected character areas, vehicular, bike and pedestrian design improvements, both modern and traditional architectural recommendations, and design guidelines for civic, residential and commercial buildings.

The Development Plan serves as a record for Mount Rainier’s visions, aspirations and values in the year 2010. Over the coming decade, public and private development, investments and priorities will be measured according to ideas embedded in the Mount Rainier Mixed-Use Town Center Development Plan.

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