The Cameron Foundation in Petersburg, Virginia has a mission to “transform the Tri-Cities; Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell; and four surrounding counties into a healthy, vibrant, and economically vital region by strategically leveraging resources for community impact.” They are fulfilling their mission with initiatives to improve public health and education and to enhance the physical environment so that residents have more opportunities for a healthy and prosperous lifestyle.
In 2014, the foundation began their community gateway initiative by requesting the municipalities they serve to recommend locations for civic gateways and offering to help fund their design and construction. At that time, the foundation requested Chroma Design to prepare a Southside Virginia Gateway Master Plan which studied the chosen sites and included gateway concept designs for each location. The foundation’s understanding, shared by the communities and the design team, is that a well-designed gateway can improve civic pride, increase tourism, and stimulate economic development.
Through a public-private partnership with three communities, the foundation has currently completed three new gateways. Our firm designed all three sites including the gateway features for two of them. The third includes a major sculpture that was carefully integrated into the site. The firm headed up a multi-disciplinary design team and worked several years with the public/private steering committees for each project. Being part of the southside gateway initiative has been an exciting experience for Chroma Design. It has expanded our understanding, interests, and capabilities in this important practice area. We look forward to assisting other communities in fulfilling their visions for iconic and enduring community gateways.