Silver Cliff and Westcliffe Placecmaking

Date: 4/21/2015 - 8/21/2016
Principal Researchers:


Location: Silver Cliff and Westcliffe, CO

The sister communities of Silver Cliff and Westcliffe were in search of better wayfinding and welcoming signage to draw the many visitors who drive through on the highway. Westcliffe boasts a more robust business district, but both communities would benefit from better “brand” identification, and so we set about generating some sign concepts that would please both communities.

The original emphasis was on mining and train culture, but it is hard to overlook two other attributes of the area…certainly the backdrop of the San Juan de Cristo range to the west of the area, and the newly minted status as a “dark sky community” allowing amateur and hobbyist astronomers to use the area for star gazing, comet watching and the like. This status is granted to precious few locales, and the development of the “the bluffs” park area at the western end of Westcliffe became a magnet for telescopes toting visitors. As a result we developed two unique sign approaches, one based on the dark sky theme, and another utilizing the mountain imagery…both themes maintained some allusion to the mining and train history of the area as well.

Project Team: 
Matthew Breen, Ross Williams, Lyris Sanchez
Local Participants: Kathy Reis, Ileen Squire
DOLA Regional Manager: Christy Culp

Colorado Center for Community Development

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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