SCAPE team selected to lead revitalization of Main Street in Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Mar 15, 2023

We’re excited to share that in February, the City Council of Johnstown, PA unanimously selected SCAPE to lead a new project reimagining the city’s Main Street corridor as a vibrant 21st-century streetscape.

The team also includes a number of local subconsultants—including Thad Pawlowski (Partners in Public Design) to lead engagement, CJL Engineering to lead civil engineering, and Todd Stiffler (Public Art Johnstown) to consult on public art—as well as a larger team including Sherwood Design Engineers (stormwater management), Sam Schwartz Engineering (transportation), Manuel Miranda Practice (wayfinding), Pine & Swallow (soils), Northern Designs (irrigation), LAM (lighting), Fluidity (water features), Trophy Point (estimation), and Sci-Tek (surveys).

Currently on the brink of economic resurgence, Johnstown needs future-ready infrastructure to support a new era of growth. As the city’s central artery, Main Street has a lot of work to do—seamlessly moving people and goods; accommodating public, commercial, and private transit; integrating IT infrastructure; managing stormwater; celebrating the city’s culture; maintaining universal access; and defining a signature public space for the city. At a broader scale, the City of Johnstown sees the project as a moment to be ambitious and define a new future for downtown—threading together a new and creative plan for the corridor alongside community aspirations and needs.

In 2019, SCAPE Founding Principal Kate Orff and Thad Pawlowski led a Columbia University urban design studio, “Resilient Infrastructure for Johnstown,” reimagining the city’s relationship with its rivers (read more in Landscape Architecture Magazine and Metropolis; view the studio website). Pawlowski, born and raised in the city, brings to the team a lifelong knowledge of its cultural and economic history.

“Main Street has been the heart and soul of Johnstown for over a hundred years,” said Pawlowski. “Generations of Johnstowners have come together here for work and leisure. We’re deeply honored to collaborate with the community and develop a vision for its future that captures this energy and turns a new page for the city.”

“It’s inspiring to see Johnstown invest in a future that threads together immediate needs for Main Street as a critical corridor with a top-tier public space,” said Orff. “Our streetscapes can do so much more than convey people and cars—we see this as a way to really define the overall experience of downtown.”

Public meetings to help inform the vision will begin in Spring 2023. For more regular updates, follow SCAPE (@scape_studio) and the City of Johnstown (@cityofjohnstownpa) on Instagram and visit the City’s website.