Ideas abound for Snoqualmie gateway

Is it possible to have too many things to celebrate in Snoqualmie?

That’s not necessarily a big problem for Snoqualmie merchants exploring ideas for gateway signs introducing shoppers to the city.

Downtown and Snoqualmie Ridge merchants and members of the Snoqualmie Arts Commission have been meeting recently to brainstorm for the gateways.

Among potential brand themes are Snoqualmie Falls, the Northwest Railway Museum’s trains and the city’s heritage as the Snoqualmie Tribe’s “Valley of the Moon.”

“What a great dillemma — to have too many things to celebrate,” said meeting facilitator Paul Fuesel. “That’s a good problem.”

Fuesel, an urban designer with KPG, Inc., of Seattle, said that the city branding effort doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

The challenge now is to winnow that identity down to one that encompasses all of Snoqualmie.

Ideas will be forwarded to Snoqualmie Planning Director Nancy Tucker and city economic consultant Bob Cole.

“We’re going to go through a process of coming up with what works best for all of us,” Cole said. “There is general agreement that something needs to be done.”

The idea for gateways came about after merchants on the Ridge asked for a gateway drawing interest to their services at Center Boulevard.

Gateways are being considered at the Ridge top, Kimball Creek and downtown locations.

Feusel suggested finding a historic perspective on each neighborhood, or using artistic or architectural features to create an identity if history is lacking.

It’s more likely that downtown Snoqualmie will get the first gateway by late 2010. Cole said federal downtown economic development funds could help pay for the feature.

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