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Images Present Ideas for Community Space on Frederick Road

A local artist created some images in Photoshop that show potential changes to spaces on Frederick Road.

What if the Santa House that sits outside the Catonsville fire station was moved to the brick square beside and had a large searchable touch screen for visitors? 

Or what if the bus station at Montrose Avenue and Frederick Road had a little art added to the structure?

These are some of the ideas that the 's Main Street Committee is discussing.

Local artist Edward Williams, who recently completed the , was asked by committee Chairman Jim Himel to make some images in Photoshop depicting these ideas.

The three ideas are:

  • Painting an American flag at the bus shelter at Montrose Avenue and Frederick Road as a reference to the town's vibrant July 4th celebration and parade. 
  • A digital kiosk that would serve as business finder/community bulletin board in the brick square beside Friendly's
  • Moving the to the brick square and creating a year-round kiosk for a flat screen directory, community bulletin board and information distribution.

Himel said these ideas have been shared with the chamber's Board of Directors and will be discussed at future meetings.

The images created by Williams are attached to this article.

You tell us: What do you think is needed in downtown Catonsville to make it more welcoming to visitors?

Jim Himel July 25, 2012 at 04:41 AM
These fun photo shop images that Catonsville artist, Edward Williams provides, allows us to visualize ideas that we would never imagine during our hectic daily routines. Edward's just completed Catonsville Mural on Bloomsbury Ave behind the "House of Time" shop is a must see!! While I find the images of Catonsville's past wonderful and enchanting, I am drawn to the "Dream on the Future" images that are not there .....YET!! This is the challenge that we have..... to create that village image that we dream about. And maybe we will visualize that image of the Catonsville village shops on an i-phone and not a kiosk. That certainly is where Patch is heading!!
Janine July 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Better yet...what if the Friendly's was gone?
rc July 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Friendly's gone with an Irish Pub/Family restaurant with Shuffleboard inplace would do it...Trader Joe's behind it.
J.M. July 25, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Maybe the question should be broader, i.e. what ideas do you have to improve main street? #1 Get rid of Friendly's. Until Main Street has been revitalized to a greater extent, the need for a kiosk is moot.
KS Alexander July 25, 2012 at 01:33 PM
The Santa House should remain right where it is by the fire station. We don't need a digital kiosk, not that kind of town. Doing something with the bus shelter would be nice. And about that Irish Pub/Family Restaurant idea...Maybe the property for that former coffee cafe down the street would lend itself to something like that? Is the land parcel large enough to handle an expanded restaurant and still have parking? And since we have a nice farmers' market in the parking lot behind Friendly's, would like to see that continue.
Cath July 25, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Music City, Maryland should have an indoor venue for live music.
Edward Williams July 25, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Seems to me Catonsville has plenty of good restaurants and lots of "service" stores( insurance, contractors, law, medical...), but not enough"shopping" stores like Ellicott City. People are drawn to eat here then leave. We also desperately need a "Trader Joes" type store.
Greg Morgan July 25, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Santa House should remain where it is located, the location and tradition is what was envisioned when we began this project 17+ years ago.
Andrea July 25, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I love the idea of revitalizing the Friendly's shopping square into something with more current retail venues...Trader Joes...Athleta....a decent shoe store (please not PayLess)...this is where the effort should go because this is where the parking is! Parking is the main reason I do not venture to shop on Frederick Road...and why I travel to ELlicott CIty to go to Target. Friendly's is not my favorite place to go. The service is very slow.
CRYSTAL JENKINS July 25, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I personally think any additional murals in the community is a great idea. Paintings and additional art work that represents the community is enriching and brings more character to the town. I think we can probably do with out the Digital kiosk idea. As a local business owner, a number 1 complaint that we get is parking. I can't imagine that someone visiting Main st. would park near Friendly's to look at where a business is located to then turn around and get back into the car to drive and look for parking near the store of their destination. I must say in addition, that 90% of the time people are laying and hanging around outside of Friendly's that just doesn't seem appealing to approach the area. However, a directory or a map with a list of business's and area's of parking is a great idea. But. more on a scale of a map or directory laid out in a case form,hung throughout the Main St area or a vinyl type on plastic, similar to what they have in local malls. I think that not only is it cost effective compared to a Digital Kiosk, but the directories and maps could be accessible to everyone shopping and visiting Main st. I wouldn't even be opposed to the idea of hanging a map or directory in my shop. I just hope the if they go in the direction of either, that it would will include a list or show where parking is accessible.
Andrea July 25, 2012 at 08:42 PM
If I were to park in a highly visible lot with shops that filled my needs (shoes, clothing, small groceries), I would certainly be tempted to shop in the antique store, the chocolate shop, the shop with bathing suits, the frame shop, get my nails done and wouldn't mind walking around to do it. I love our street of unique shops. Some revitalization and a common theme (hanging flower baskets, themed shopping nights, sidewalk sales) up and down Frederick Rd would definitely help unify the shopping district.
CRYSTAL JENKINS July 25, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I hope too that in the future more apparel or boutiques will make there way to open shop in downtown Catonsville. I don't think and would hope that big corporate stores like Target would come to Maine st. Stores like that don't normally fit small town vibes and tend to put small business and mom and pop shop out of business. But, to see more stores like the Old Ellicott City Area would be appealing and bring traffic through Frederick rd.
Denise Valancius-Ditman July 25, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Thanks to Jim Himel and Ed Williams for helping us visualize what the future Catonsville might be. Also kudos to Meg Tipper who had the vision and the perseverance to get the Bloomsbury mural completed.We are fortunate to have citizens like these who are active in creating a better community for all of us. Who do we beg to get a Trader's Joe's in the area?
Penny Riordan July 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM
In case anyone didn't know, Crystal Jenkins is owner of the new Fetish Beauty Boutique on Frederick Road: http://catonsville.patch.com/articles/fetish-beauty-boutique-open-on-frederick-road
craig witzke July 26, 2012 at 12:22 AM
The coffee shop is too close to the school to serve liquor.
craig witzke July 26, 2012 at 12:29 AM
A flat screen kiosk outside of the Chamber of Commerce office creating a "Welcome Center" would be the most cost effective and practical idea. A printed directory would be outdated by the time that it was installed. The Chamber is the perfect organization to connect visitors/ customers and businesses.
Katie Malone July 26, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I agree, Craig. Using the Chamber to serve Double Duty as a Welcome Center is a fantastic idea. And while I would love to see a Trader Joe's in Catonsville, unfortunately, I do not think the shopping center could handle the traffic that would ensue from a Trader Joe's in that particular location. Putting Trader Joe's on Route 40 where the Room Store is currently located is a more feasible idea. That being said, there is nothing saying we can't work to attract more businesses to the shopping center. Personally, I would love to see an Irish Bar and Grill, possibly a used book store, or even a Pita Pit or Roly Poly Sandwich Shop.
Cindy Wills July 26, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I agree with Craig on using the Chamber as a Welcome Center. Great idea!!
CRYSTAL JENKINS July 26, 2012 at 02:51 PM
If they do decide to go in the direction of a "Welcoming Center" then hands down the Chamber is a perfect location, oppose to Friendly's. A flat screen digital kiosk is a more up-to-date feature compared to a print out map or a directory, however I think it would be more of a benefit to the people visiting the community to have directories accessible throughout Main st not just 1 digital kiosk. Local malls with upscale designer stores and fairly new to renovation, as well as the New Harbor East with nothing but fancy restaurants and high-end apparel stores don't have digital kiosk. They have a plastic with vinyl lettering directories located through out the area. I just threw that idea out because it just seemed more practical and if done the right way in terms of the design, it could really look great through out the community.
Todd Marks July 26, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Things Catonsville Needs: - Convert Friendly's into "Cville Gastro Pub" - Public Parking with signs that draw users from the Beltway into user friendly lots - Updated Parking meters that accept credit cards - Public Wi-fi hotspots - No Kiosk, but a really cool app for list of attractions and directions - More outdoor seating along the sidewalks - More boutique and higher end shopping - A hip grocery store - A director of marketing - More people embracing change and looking at the upside...
Penny Riordan July 26, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Another small business owner on Frederick Road weighs in! Todd Marks is CEO of Mindgrub: http://catonsville.patch.com/articles/in-just-a-year-tech-startup-outgrows-frederick-road-space. Thanks Todd! Maybe you all can create the app.
Katie Malone July 26, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I think the app is dead on, and public wifi hot spots is a fantastic idea!
Todd Marks July 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Actually that is what my new company on Frederick Road, viaPlace (www.viaplace.com), does. We have created similar apps for Baltimore, Vegas, Sonoma County. Would be nice to bring it home. Maybe we can get some of the local shops to help sponsor through ads. But happy to release a basic app gratis. Teal, can I get a list of businesses in the chamber, brief description, thumb and address. We'll put in a viaPlace app and stick it in the store.
CRYSTAL JENKINS July 26, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I think all ideas are fantastic!! I love the idea about the parking lots and parking meters! A hip-grocery store along the lines of an organic market would be awesome too.
Penny Riordan July 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM
In case you missed this too, upgrading parking meters has been a request of the Chamber of Commerce to the county for a while: http://catonsville.patch.com/articles/county-will-study-expanding-public-parking. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get an answer from the county as to why this hasn't happened yet. When I know more I'll write another story.
Todd Marks July 27, 2012 at 03:39 AM
It hasn't happened yet for lack of vision and execution. Lets get with the times and not spin circles around another "study". Desirable consumers would gladly pay a little more on a card then dig for quarters. If we take too long they will invent near field communication parking systems and we'll look stupid for having just installed credit card ones ;) And for having 0 market public parking lots. Find out what the price point is for them to pay themselves back in 3-5 years and go.
Todd Marks July 27, 2012 at 03:47 AM
oh, and we need to make sure the new Catonsville Gastro Pub will not get ensnarled by the no serving alcohol too close to a church law. That is another law that seems to work against us now. Lets make sure that changes while we are at it.
KG July 27, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I believe the Catonsville Cooperative Market has a store front as a long term goal so perhaps they can be the "hip grocery store." It would get me to drive down Frederick Rd, which I avoid unless I have a destination there. Would love an app, too
Mary L Burton July 27, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Trader Joe's! Please! And like the Irish pub idea too. Yes to flag at bus stop. No to other 2 ideas. And a big THANK YOU to all concerned!
Catonsville Cooperative Market July 31, 2012 at 05:55 PM
There's actually an effort in Catonsville to start an organic market in the form of a co-operative market that would offer local, sustainable and organic foods at competitive prices. You would not have to be a member to shop there. So far, we're working on raising money for a store front. We've love to be the "hip" grocery store :) http://www.catonsvillecooperativemarket.com

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