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Consultant presents new brand for Historic Seventh Avenue District

Drawing on the neighborhood's rich past as an important farm commodities shipping station, bustling passenger rail center and stable African-American community while incorporating a fresh spirit of entrepreneurship, a consultant last week unveiled a new brand for the Historic Seventh Avenue District: "Downtown's Historic Edge."

"We really like taking inspiration from the history of a community or district," then weaving those into design "to tell that tale in modern ways," the logo designer, Shawn Terpack of Arnett Muldrow, told the council. The images use a cobblestone/brick paver theme in a variety of colors and carries forward the stylized "H" used in the city's welcome sign. The logo could appear on banners on light post crossbars, atop street markers and in wayfinding and gateway signage.

The plan for a rebranding of the historic district goes back to the spring of 2021, when the city invited architectural and urban design firms to apply for the job. The City Council awarded a contract to Arnett Muldrow & Associates, of Greenville, South Carolina, to create a new brand that reflects both the history and vision of the Seventh Avenue Municipal Service District.

In August more than 40 stakeholders participated in roundtables and public meetings. Business owners, property owners and residents participated in the process. The final product was reviewed by a Steering Committee and the Downtown Advisory Board and its Community Character Subcommittee.

The arrival of the railroad in the late 1880s opened a vastly larger market for Henderson County's apples and other produce and brought thousands of tourists to town. Today, the landmark depot "stands sentinel surrounded by commercial buildings, diverse businesses and a new energy on the Avenue," Terpack said. "Inspired entrepreneurs are opening businesses and renovating buildings. Farmers once again gather here to fruit, vegetables and food to people who come from near and far."

City Council members had little to say about the new brand on Thursday night and took no action. Next up in the historic district is a streetscape redesign expected to get under way next year.