Banners Selected for Empty “L” Downtown

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Banners advertising Wake County libraries will soon add a splash of color to the concrete facade of the downtown county parking deck.

Wake County Commissioners approved a design Monday for 15 colorful banners, which will be hung on the sides of the parking deck on McDowell and Davie streets.

Developer Concord-Empire plans to construct an L-shaped mixed-use building along the front of the deck, but has not secured financing due to the economy. The county and city have extended the construction deadline to 2013.

Developers agreed to work with both governments to spruce up the concrete surface and will pay the full cost of the banners.

The banners will serve double duty, covering the unfinished project and helping launch a 14-month marketing campaign for the county libraries.

Empire worked with design students from North Carolina State University to produce 30 possibilities. The selected design consists of 15 individual banners with animal and people cartoon characters moving across the panels. Together they tell the story of “The Fantastic Sky Race,” said Phil Stout, Wake County facilities design manager.

The panels are each 60 feet tall and 22 feet wide and can be used individually when the L-shaped building is constructed. Library officials said the images will be used elsewhere in their marketing campaign.

The banners also contain 13 hints of Raleigh and North Carolina, including a blimp featuring the Raleigh acorn, a panel with the downtown skyline, dogwood trees and the Wright brothers’ plane.

The banners are expected to be in place July 1.

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