One sign stating "Historic Downtown McKinney Cultural District" has been placed on a pole near Mitchell Park. This sign will be visible to traffic coming into downtown.
Another sign is attached to the side of the new Chestnut Commons Parking Garage, located at 202 S. Chestnut St. This sign faces Chestnut and will direct traffic into the garage for parking.
A third sign will be placed on the rooftop on the east side of the garage, facing SH 5. This sign is expected to be debuted in early 2020.
These signs are being installed to promote downtown, which received a Cultural District Designation from the Texas Commission on the Arts last year, said Amy Rosenthal, McKinney Main Street program director, at a Sept. 3 City Council meeting.
"The design of the signs take inspiration from neon signs once hanging in downtown McKinney," Rosenthal said in an email. "Neon signs are our connection to the past. They are special works of art and craftsmanship. They evoke memories and are a tribute to locally-owned businesses."
The illuminated signs will show that downtown is open for business at night, she said.
The cultural district designation made the signs possible. As a designated cultural district, McKinney is eligible for funding from the commission to enhance and promote downtown through signage. The city used funding from the commission and the McKinney Community Development Corp.
"We wanted to honor our past; we wanted to [create a] sense of place; we wanted a photo op; and we wanted to show that we are open at night," Rosenthal said during the September meeting.