Flagstaff considers beautification ideas along Route 66

Flagstaff, Arizona, and its beautification and public art commission is considering a variety of elements to beautify its stretch of historic Route 66.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported the group is considering 11 signs and informational panels along the road.

Mark Di Lucido, community design and redevelopment administrator for the city, told the newspaper the city is considering a more naturalist look to nearby Williams, Arizona.

What isn’t ambiguous is the style these signs would take and Di Lucido said they want them to be unique to Flagstaff.
“Williams has cornered the market on neon and fins,” Di Lucido said. “And there are variations on this theme all the way to Chicago.”
In any case, Di Lucido said, neon wouldn’t work well with Flagstaff’s dark skies. Instead, they are going for a more rustic look to pay homage to the geology, forests and many national parks in the area.
This architectural style is often referred to as “parketecture” because of how much it is used by the National Park Service.

The project would cost an estimated $590,000, paid for through the city’s bed, board and beverage tax.

Di Lucido sent some artist’s renderings of the proposed signs along Route 66 in Flagstaff. Note these aren’t final designs, but they offer inklings of how the city and art commission is approaching the project.

Western city limits at McAllister Ranch 66 frontage.

At Milton Road and Route 66. Located in other agency right-of-way. “We’re holding our breath that (right-of-way) holder will allow. We envision the actual monument as more rustic — closer in style to historical precedents yet not re-creating history. To help tell the 66 story, interior will feature a bronze plaque on the interior of each of the monument’s legs, plus a 66-themed public art mosaic on the floor,” Di Lucido wrote in an email.

Moenkopi sandstone shield. Di Lucido said agency with right-of-way ownership is involved.

Intersection of U.S. 89 and Route 66.

Flagstaff Mall version. “Neon’s been done to death, but perhaps here, it makes sense,” he wrote.

Flagstaff east city limits.

(Images courtesy of Mark Di Lucido, city of Flagstaff)

One thought on “Flagstaff considers beautification ideas along Route 66

  1. Hi Ron, Thanks for the article. A clarification . . .
    We call it beautification because it’s funded from the portion of the city’s bed, board and beverage tax that funds beautification projects, but really, it’s about commemorating our 15 miles of the Route as much as beautifying them. For example, the research and writing for the ‘Walk this Talk’ component, and the eventual designs for the interpretive signs and bronze plaques, will include lesser known aspects of Flagstaff’s portion of the Route such as which motor courts were featured in the ‘Green Book’, how the Route influenced the urban form of Flagstaff, as well as documenting the visually stunning road sign monuments that were unique to this region.

    Mark Di Lucido

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