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Design Connect Spring 2018 Projects

This semester, Design Connect is taking on the following projects:

  • Midtown Utica Community Center Masterplan in Utica, New York
  • Hamilton Towpath Wayfinding Design in Hamilton, New York
  • Penn Yan Parks and Recreation Plan in Penn Yan, New York
  • Eddy Gate Tactical Placemaking in Ithaca, New York

Midtown Utica Community Center Masterplan

40 Faxton Street, formerly All Saints Episcopal Churh.

The focus of this project is to develop a master plan and needs assessment for the recently purchased Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC) property. As a post-resettlement community organization, MUCC works to fill the gaps in services provided to refugees. MUCC’s mission is to foster inclusive community participation by providing an environmentally-sound facility for arts, recreation, celebration, and locally-based human services in order to increase opportunities for personal and collective growth in our community.

The site, 40 Faxton Street, is formerly All Saints Episcopal Church. Although MUCC has been using the space for last three years, the organization purchased the property this last year and can now begin physical work on the property. We hope to produce a master plan which includes all the vast and diverse groups that call Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC) home—incorporating space which serves many different areas from civic to religious and everything in between.

Contact Anna Callahan,, with questions and interest in the project!

Hamilton Towpath Wayfinding Design

Existing signage for the Chenango Canal Towpath Trail.

The Hamilton Partnership for Community Development (also known as PCD) is partnering with Design Connect to design and update their signage system along their 7 mile long bike trail, also known as the Chenango Canal Towpath Trail. The towpath was first opened as a recreational trail in 2009, after its long abandonment as a path used by vehicles and animals that towed the boats through the Chenango canal. The PCD’s aim is to create a trail that promotes the organization’s brand and which gives the users a unique experience that guides visitors to other tourist destination around the region.

Penn Yan Parks and Recreation Plan

Students visiting a park in Penn Yan, New York.

The Design Connect Team will be updating the Penn Yan’s Parks and Recreation Plan. The team will be confirming the need for parks and recreation facilities and will be identifying new opportunities for the enhancement of the village’s recreation resources. The team will be working closely with the community and the village board to make recommendations for parks and green spaces in the area including Indian Pines Park, Elm St. Sports Complex, Red Jacket Park, the and Keuka Outlet Trail.

Eddy Gate Tactical Placemaking

Eddy Gate nearby the entrance to Cornell from Collegetown.(Source: Architart)

Eddy Gate, one of Collegetown’s most historic landmarks, has not received much attention since its construction in 1896. Despite its central location in the heart of the Cornell-Collegetown area, plans for the space have stalled, leaving Eddy Gate to be underutilized and underappreciated.

The Campus Planning Office is working with Design Connect to change that. Using tactical urbanist principles, the Eddy Gate team will temporarily transform the urban fabric of the space from thoroughfare to public plaza. The project will reimagine the purpose of Eddy Gate, exchanging the mundane for the whimsical, and the absence of street life to the celebration of it.
Though this temporary intervention, the team hopes to generate public support and ideas that will inspire a more permanent improvement to the Eddy Gate passageway.
Descriptions for each of the Design Connect projects were taken from the Design Connect blog page.



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