Hyannis, MA

Contact Name
Mary-Ann Agresti
Project Dates
Nov 2017 - July 2018
Placemaking/placekeeping, Downtown preservation/main streets, Design
This project, 7 navigational / heritage kiosks, is part of “ Dress Up Downtown “dedicated to creating a safe, vibrant, active downtown with an authentic identity. It provided a way to navigate downtown and to tell the untold story of what makes Hyannis unique. Phase 1 was dedicated to designing a system of navigational tools (signs, info kiosks) along Main St and the Harbor. Phase 2 saw 7 informational kiosks installed. Each tells the story of Hyannis, past and current with: a newly designed map providing features like walk-able distances, a “heritage panel” with facts about industry, architecture, history, notable residents, etc and a current calendar of seasonal events. The project was a partnership of the Hyannis Rotary, Hyannis BID, The Design Initiative and Town of Barnstable.
Project Goals
What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
The project goals:
1. INFORM and EDUCATE - to connect Main Street with a common navigational language that will educate residents about their village and guide visitors.
2. ECONOMIC - to provide easy orientation and encourage interaction with businesses along the whole street.
3. ORIENTATION - to provide regular identification along our mile long Main Street, to assist in way finding and identity.
4. HEALTH - to give information about relative distances on a newly designed map, aiding in walkability, safety, parking, business promotion. To promote civic pride.
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
They did not change.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
The project was initiated by The Hyannis BID who connected The Hyannis Rotary and The Design Initiative - both organizations had expressed interest in investing funds and talent into the " Dress Up Downtown" program. The Rotary, who funded the whole project, played a major role with its support, The Design Initiative - a local design firm - brought way-finding and design expertise. The BID was the conduit to local businesses and institutions, critical for feedback. The Town was consistently supportive ( by coordinating al efforts with land use, DPW, etc) of what was a privately funded and installed project. An integral part of the design process was a community meeting were everything from content to color was discussed. Local historians, librarians etc were consulted for all research. Residents were encouraged to contribute content by e-mail as well. This process resulted in some lovely " I did not know that" moments throughout the summer as residents and visitors discovered their town and connected the present with the past.
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
The 7 kiosks are part of an designed system of graphics and signs that can be used to extend the idea along Main St and the Harbor. The system was design as phase 1 of this project. The whole team understood the importance of having a system that to provide visual consistency. Phase 1 also helped establish realistic budgets and identify qualified vendors. in 2019 funding is being sought foradditions to the original 7 kiosks. Having the system allow for future partners to be sure to match the sign type they need with a specific location or content.

Locations were carefully chosen to not only highlight areas that are already central but those zones along the street that are integral to planning.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
Inspired by other waterfront towns with story telling way finding along their Main St and harbor: Salem, Newport. Hudson.
Project Specifics
Please list the steps taken to implement the project:
1. Discussions between Hyannis BID and local business owners, artist and The Design Initiative with a goal to better understand the overall plan for navigating downtown along our mile long Main St and working Hyannis Harbor.
2. As a result of the conversations, establish idea to create zones within the whole historic district that can help with navigation and identification - symbols stories. The rotating " whirly gigs " at the top of each kiosk are different for each one - promoting zone identification.
3. Initiate conversation with Hyannis Rotary about partnering to further the " Dress Up Downtown" program.
4. Create team of The Design Initiative and Rotary. Work together to establish scope of work for Rotary Special Projects to propose to members. Develop scope for members review.
5. Schematic design allowed for determining a phase 2 project that could meet the funds available.
6. Research content, map design and design development of kiosks proceeded ( Jan 2018 – June 2018) with install right before the 4th of July!

If the project steps changed over time, please describe how:
We were able to move forward with original project and plan without changes.
What were your major obstacles for the completion of the project?
Building consensus for priorities with limited funding options. Collecting content - while not a true obstacle - it was a bigger project than expected. It would be interesting to review other ways to organize and create this kind of multi faceted content.

Integrating locations of kiosks with the many other needs of a public sidewalk.
Who or what was instrumental in overcoming these obstacles?
Meetings with the BID and the Rotary, allowing all to weigh in on questions and to clarify the project, helped immensely. Everyone was invested in coming up with a positive plan.

The DPW , town arts representatives and engineers were brought on board to evaluate locations and be sure that all logistical needs were considered on the public ways.
What top three suggestions would you give to others attempting a similar project?
1. The community input is wonderful and helpful. Create a system for residents and business people to contribute their ideas - town meetings, dedicated website. 2. Think ahead, talk as far ahead as you can ( a year is not too much) with all involved: DPW, insurances, building department, manufacturers, etc. 3. Be sure the project fits into a bigger plan. A project like this should knit together many different ideas, not just be a project unto itself. Talk to community groups, residents, etc to make it as inclusive as possible.
Project Impact
How has this project strategically connected arts and cultural activities to social, economic, and cultural issues in your community? What is different in your community as a result of this project?
The project:
- enhances the appearance of the streetscape and guides visitors along the street with positive impact on existing local businesses, restaurants and hotels.
- complements the existing concentration of cultural, economic and historic resources further enhancing the vitality of the area as a year round vibrant arts and culture destination.
- is an integral part of a first step in developing and supporting a comprehensive and coordinated effort to review implementation of parking management strategies for downtown, supported by improvements and programs to enhance the street and public spaces to support walkability and year-round vibrancy
- helps in connecting the dots from Main Street to the working harbor front.

The rotating " whirly gigs " at the top of each kiosk are different for each section of the Street and Harbor. Theis not only helps with orientation and identification, but it is a custom piece of public art permanently installed along the whole of Main Street.

Why do you consider the project successful, as related to your project goals above?
The Heritage Trail kiosks have brought together information about the village of Hyannis to a central place for all to enjoy, as well as created touch points along the street and Harbor for orientation and event updates.

The " kit of parts" has provided a catalogue of options for adding to phase 1 with businesses and the Town inquiring about budgeting for a phase phase / install.

Visitors recognize the kiosks as a source of information and orientation.
How did you measure this success or progress?
Currently this has been assessed mostly by word of mouth and visual inspection. The kiosks were installed the week before the 4th of July and as we walk Main St there is someone looking at one aspect or another all the time - they are well used. There is interest from institutions outside of the initial team in funding a kiosk, or other sign types for phases 2 or 3. The project was covered by local radio and news - both print and digital. It created a sense of pride and buzz.
Please describe any unexpected impacts:
Off shoots of the project are being discussed such as a scavenger hunt book to be distributed at the Chamber of Commerce visitors center, which would use the information on the Heritage kiosks to guide visitors and school groups though out the village.

The research alone has proven valuable as a village asset. The designers have been contacted several times by local group looking to integrate the information into their own projects. So the stories are spreading!