Group Project Design Connect: Mainstreet Re-visioning, Ovid, New York

  • Brian Byrd, M.R.P. 2015
    Andrew Canfield, B.S. URS 2019
    Natalie Hymer, M.R.P. 2015
    Adna Karabegovic, M.R.P. 2016
    Daniel Mckenna-Foster, M.R.P. 2015
    Zoe Siegel, M.R.P. 2016
    Taru Taru, M.R.P. 2015
    Yuchen Xiang, M.Arch. 2015
    Lei Yang, M.A. HPP 2016

The Downtown Main Street Re-visioning project was a collaborative envisioning exercise between Seneca Towns Engaging in Solutions (STEPS), the people of the village of Ovid, and students from a Cornell University Design Connect team. The purpose of the project was to inspire Ovid residents to think about how to create a healthier village that would improve long-term livability. A walkable, people-friendly built environment is one sustainable way to do this.

The Village of Ovid is located between Seneca and Cayuga lakes at the heart of Seneca County, immediately at the intersection of highways 96A and 414. The traditional main street is home to several local businesses, a national historic site made up of the "Three Bears" former courthouse buildings, and boasts a wonderful small town feel. The "Three Bears" are a notable landmark in what is officially known as the Seneca County Courthouse Complex, which consists of three neoclassical brick structures. Papa Bear is the original 1845 Seneca County Courthouse; Mama Bear is the Old Clerks House built in 1845; and Baby Bear is the New Clerks Office built in 1860. After a fire in March 2014 destroyed two village buildings along the main street, STEPS invited Design Connect to assist the people of Ovid in re-imagining the future of their community. The report the group generated presents findings from community outreach activities moderated by the Cornell team as well as possible recommendations to help Ovid move forward in becoming the community it aspires to be.

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