James Dougherty, Pamela Stacy and Jason King  created the Arrive in Style poster for CNU20’s AuthentiCity Contest. The Arrive in Style poster provides plans for the redevelopment of the Belvedere Road Station and Banyan Boulevard Station in West Palm Beach in a style consistent with Addison Mizner’s vision for West Palm Beach. The plan envisions walkable, mixed-use destinations in the grand tradition of placemaking established in the golden age of Florida rail travel.   

A travel poster format was used to make a statement about transit planning in the future: train travel was once an entirely designed experience – from the city center one departed from, to the passenger car one travelled in, to the city center one arrived at – and for this reason train travel had tremendous appeal. There was an instant excitement upon arrival that automobile and plane travel can never fully provide. Immediately after getting off the train there was an experience of place.

For transit to become attractive to new generations it needs to recover its grandeur.  This will require station buildings that are proud, memorable, and iconic (regardless of style). Leaving the station one must find themselves in more than just a walkable environment with connections to local transit, but at the heart of the city or town, at the center of activity. Also, one’s experience of beauty cannot be limited to temporary art exhibitions in the station but present in the buildings, streets, and neighborhoods around the stations.

Transit centers should be anchored by a signature open space.  This space could serve as an identifiable landmark for all the surrounding neighborhoods. Corner stores and live-work offices around these open spaces and near the transit stops will provide an initial mixed-use component which would grow to full centers. The next increments of urbanism are shown in the plans: the corridors that connect the rail stations to the surrounding neighborhoods fronted by urban format buildings, and the neighborhoods themselves, infilled with housing types that can generate transit-supportive densities.  

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6 Responses to This is What a Transit Station Should Look Like

  1. Mike Moskos says:

    It’s a shame that so much of Metrorail was built isolated from the rest of the city. Finally, developers are correcting the flaws. You should be able to accomplish every conceivable errand/shopping need you have by walking no more than 2 blocks from stations. (It doesn’t have to be every station of course, because once you’re on the Metrorail it is easy to go an extra few stations to get to the things you need.)

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  2. B says:

    Much more attractive than out “Government center” station which has a surface parking lot beside it while transit riders walk two blocks to/from a crappy, outdated “bus terminal” just to transfer. If you can’t get it right at Government Center, well that says a lot:(.

    Unfortunately, the architectural marvel of the new Miami Central Station is going to basically be a transfer point tucked behind the massive airport rental car garage, not an urban destination destination. We’ll have to wait for the FEC line to possibly get a real “central” station in downtown, and it looks to be a long wait.

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  3. BCG says:

    The Downtown Intermodal Center is being studied now, to include bus, train, transit in that parking lot area next to gov’t center.

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  4. This station design is gorgeous, and would be a fantastic addition to Palm Beach. It would also be very appropriate to the grand architectural legacy of other Palm Beach landmarks such as the Breakers and Whitehall. One architectural legacy that this design has nothing to do with, however, is Addison Mizner’s. He introduced Spanish Mediterranean architecture to Palm Beach because of the climactic similarities between South Florida and coastal Spain, and would have found this design far too French, and far too ornately Beaux Arts. But that’s just him. It’s beautiful, and definitely a grand entrance to West Palm Beach.

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  5. B says:

    @BCG: In other words, it might get done in 10 years as part of a massive and very expensive project, instead of the quick, cheap, and simple short-term solution of replacing some of the parking spots with bus bays, which shouldn’t take more than a month to do.

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  6. Mike Moskos says:

    B, I have to agree with Governmental Center: nothing in the design readily tells the traveler how to move from one train to another. And, can you imagine this: you have to go upstairs to use the bathroom. The starchitect or the county at that time probably left bathrooms out on purpose to discourage the homeless from using them. While the Metrorail stations also were designed without bathrooms for the public (who pay the bills), at least MDT opened an employee bathroom for all to use.

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