Code created to form pattern
Landscape architect Brian Goad has a secret and he doesn’t think the community can solve the puzzle.
Goad designed a recently completed sidewalk on the north side of Chimes Street, from Highland Road to Infirmary Drive, in the Northgate community near LSU.
Although the sidewalk has new lighting, benches and bicycle racks, Goad’s secret can be found easily atop the concrete pavement of the sidewalk itself.
Deciphering the secret code is something else altogether.
“All I can say is the code relates to LSU, Baton Rouge and Chimes Street. It took a lot of research because it involved fields not in my expertise,” Goad, 32, said recently while standing on the sidewalk in front of Highland Coffees.
“I’d be surprised if anybody can figure it out,” he said.
Goad, who currently works with Suzanne Turner Associates, designed the sidewalk a few years ago while working for Reich Associates.
Goad said the work, which is part of the city-parish’s Green Light Project, called for him to provide a safe environment for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles.
Because of the eclectic nature of the Chimes Street area, Goad said, he decided to put a code into the sidewalk to add another layer to the story of Chimes Street, LSU and Baton Rouge.
“I had fun with the paving pattern. There is an overall concept which dictates the pattern. The paving arrangement is a secret that every LSU fan will appreciate,” Goad said.
The colors of the pavement, however, are not LSU’s purple and gold. Instead, Goad used a modern but colorful dark gray, light gray, tan and dark tan combination.
Clarke Cadzow, the owner of Highland Coffees, said Goad included him along with other members of the area’s Northgate Merchant Association in discussions about the sidewalk while planning its design.
“We told him stories about Chimes Street and the neighborhood and explained what’s special about the area,” Cadzow said.
Cadzow, who has owned and operated Highland Coffees for more than 24 years, said the Northgate community is the second-oldest commercial district in Baton Rouge. Downtown Baton Rouge is the oldest, he said.
“The neighborhood is a mixture of both commercial and residential. It’s youthful and collegiate. There is a lot of diversity here,” Cadzow said.
Before the new sidewalk was installed, the north side Chimes Street sidewalk was cracked and dark at night because of a lack of lighting, Goad said.
Now there are new lights, Chinese elm trees, 12 new bicycle racks and a curb extension designed to create a safe buffer between vehicles and pedestrians.
When asked if he will try another secret code in future work, Goad said every project is different.
“It depends on the site conditions, the client and the program,” he said. “Several of my built projects around the city have a concept, or an overall idea which drives the forms and spaces.”
Goad said the goal for his work is for people to understand the meaning of space through its design.
“This project is just another layer of the history of Chimes Street. Another layer of the story,” Goad said. “It was fun and a challenge.”