Clifton Main Street July 2022
- August 1, 2022
On a spring morning in 2019, an eclectic gathering discussed community concerns and projects over delightful pastries and hot coffee. For a number of years Historic Downtown stakeholders had struggled with a concern shared by many historic districts – visibility. As in many cities, the modern highway had bypassed the majority of Clifton’s brightest attractions: cultural arts districts, parks, historic districts, recreational facilities, and fairgrounds. Visitors travelling along State Highway 6 through Clifton were left with a “fast lane” impression of a “slow lane” community. The true spirit and identity of our city was largely hidden from view. How could we effectively communicate the many facets of our gem of a town to those who were passing through?
Of course, a sign was not a new idea. The topic of directional signage had been discussed many times before. Investigation had been done into the State’s wayfinding signage program, but Clifton simply didn’t meet the standards required by Texas Department of Transportation for signage on the state’s highway easement. Thankfully, Clifton is not short on creative minds and generous hearts. From the small gathering of stakeholders grew a team of determined visionaries. Local artist Megan Major met with Clifton Main Street Director Angela Smith to develop a design. Community members Phyllis Gamble and Mechelle Slaughter researched projects in other cities and spoke with the owners of commercial properties in critical Clifton locations. City Administrator Pam Harvey, Mayor Richard Spitzer, and City Council members provided support, feedback, and funding resources. Local private investors added financial support. First National Bank and First Security State Bank generously provided property space for the installations. Eagle Eye Signs and Graphics’ owner Mark Cunningham developed upon the original design to include artistic layers and manufacture a product that reflects the quality of life, goods, and services found in Clifton.
Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Clifton’s directional signage project is only one of thousands of Clifton projects that are the result of passionate, talented individuals working together toward success. Sometimes it starts over a great cup of coffee.