Oakland, when compared to neighboring cities, is quite unique in terms of its architecturally rich array of commercial buildings and storefronts, some of which possess immense historic value and date back over a century. Many of these buildings and storefronts, once decorated with features of their historic origins, have been altered beyond recognition over time and as a result have lost the character they once had.
Since 2002, we have worked closely with the staff of the Community and Economic Development Agency to help the owners of the businesses and properties to improve their stores, signage, lighting, landscaping and interiors. The main challenge of the program is to integrate what the City, who finances much of the project through grants, would like in terms of helping the continued revitalization of the neighborhoods. These projects are very rewarding; we have completed dozens of facade designs since our initial introduction into the program.