LaGrange to wrap traffic control boxes with city themed art

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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LaGrange may soon see some new artwork in the downtown area in an odd location.

The city is considering beautifying several unsightly traffic control boxes around the downtown area with artwork depicting LaGrange’s history.

Andy Fritchley from Atomic Brand Energy introduced the idea during the city council work session on Tuesday morning.

Traffic control boxes, or traffic cabinets as they are sometimes called, are located near intersections with traffic lights and help keep traffic moving smoothly. Though the boxes are essential to moving traffic, some see them as eye sores.

Most people won’t notice them, but once you see them as eye sores, you can’t unsee them anymore, Fritchley said.

Communities have taken several approaches to deal with them. They either ignore them, paint them to beautify them or they paint them to hide them with a dark color.

Fritchley said some communities will paint theirs will murals to beautify the city or others will use them to display informational items or maps.

“What we’re proposing it’s kind of in the middle,” Fritchley said, introducing potential artwork for a wrap that would cover the box on East Lafayette Square depicting Horace King.

“Everything started from this one. That whole side of East Lafayette was constructed by Horace King and his son George, and there are still many remnants of his construction in the interior, particularly the upstairs area. We wanted to pay homage to him and his legacy,” Fritchley said.

The art for the box inludes an image of King and one of his bridges in the style of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

“Horace King and Van Gogh lived in the same time period, so that’s where we got the inspiration,” Fritchley said.

Other boxes that were suggested for wraps include one near the square on Vernon Street depicting the former courthouse in the 1930s and a depiction of the 1940s streetscape on Main St. near the Legacy Museum. The final one would be located near the Marriott hotel and depict the former Mansour’s store.

Fritchley said each of the wraps would have a QR code that would send visitors to the Visit LaGrange website with an article for more information about the artwork and subject they depict.

“These boxes are for us as residents, but they are also for visitors. We want them to interact and just learn a little bit about the city,” Fritchley said

Fritchley said these are the obvious locations for the initial wraps in high visitor traffic high, high tourist areas, but they could be expanded to other locations.

The vinyl wraps cost about $450 per box, with durability of up to three years.