Sign of the Times: Port Arthur program designed to highlight city’s entryways

Published 12:40 am Saturday, May 15, 2021

There will soon be no doubt that you’ve entered the City of Port Arthur.

Jason Miller, a representative of Houston landscape architecture firm Clark Codon, and Mark Judson of Judson Design, appeared before council this week to present designs for the city’s Wayfinding and Monument Program.

The plan calls for themed entry signs at multiple entryways into the city, as well as city building identification markers and historical plaques at various locations.

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“We looked at several concepts with the team in Port Arthur and settled on this theme of nautical heritage of Port Arthur,” Judd told councilmembers. “The concept…draws on the maritime tradition and history of the Port.”

That concept, he said, was used to design a new logo, font and color theme for signage.

“What you’re looking at here is basically your front doors,” Miller said while showing a marked map to councilmembers. “We looked at potential locations where we would think we would want a larger monument statement.”

Listed as gateway opportunities for the signs are Texas 96 at Texas 73, Texas 82 at Texas 73, the Texas 73 corridor, the Texas 96 north axis, and Texas 96 at the railway crossing.

The “Primary Monument Signage” is lit from the inside, while “Secondary Monument signage” will be on timers to be lit for contrast.

Also presented was the idea of taking overhead railroad crossings and painting or adding dimensional letters to them, which looks similar to the well-known “Be Someone” sign in Houston.

Judd said that was a high visible, very cost effective option since the base structure already exists.

“Destination Signage” would go to various city building, landmarks, etc.; with “Informational Signage” at historical markers or buildings where people could read about the history.

Councilman Thomas Kinlaw III said he and City Manager Ron Burton discussed new branding a little more than a year ago.

“To see new things in the city is great,” he said. “It’s just a great feeling to have a new breath of air in the city of Port Arthur.”

Mayor Pro Tem Charlotte Moses agreed.

“The signage looks really great,” she told Miller and Judson. “Just to imagine Port Arthur with signage as such you’ve seen in other cities… I’m really impressed with your presentation. I could just see it in my head. I look forward to seeing it in our city.”

A timeline and cost for instillation was not discussed.

The signs will be funded by hotel occupancy tax.

Click here to see the presentation.