Client, Year

Seawall Development, 2023

Services

Exhibition
Placemaking
Interpretive Graphics
Illustration

Photography

Lexington Market Plaza

A public gathering space reclaimed and redefined

Vital to the success of Lexington Market’s relaunch was transforming nearby Lexington Street into a 17,000-sq. ft. pedestrian plaza. To activate the area, Ashton created interpretive signage plotting over 200 years of history alongside the reintroduction of 40 trees and thousands of native plants, designed by landscape architect Floura Teeter.

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We worked with a local historian to develop the interactive content outline. While much of it is food-focused, panels also highlighted past events and traditions, like the famous crab derby and circus elephant pilgrimage.

Most importantly, the content does not shy away from serious topics, including the role of immigrant-owned businesses and the presence of slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Panels provide context for the over $400,000 of public art found on site, all of which was created by local artists. The signage was rendered as durable, powder-coated graphics, so they, like the artwork, will stand the test of time.

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Eight of the interpretive signs feature a secondary “rubbing panel.” Metal plaques with relief illustrations allow kids of all ages to create a take-home memento, with paper and crayons available at the market’s information center.

The rubbings’ custom illustrations include signature and historic items exemplary of the market: just-caught seafood, fresh produce, the historic market’s shed facade, and the market bell. 

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A timeline embedded in the hardscape tracks the market’s physical changes from the 1782 founding to its most recent building. These key events were etched into long metal panels and plotted around the perimeter of the plaza.

Nearby signage also places Lexington Market within the context of the larger Baltimore Public Market System, the oldest in the country.

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PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

©2024 Ashton Design

PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

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