Mount Vernon Central Business District Analysis and Recommendations

Mount Vernon, New York

Client: New York State Quality Communities Initiative, NY Department of State, Division of Coastal Resources, for the City of Mount Vernon, New York

Denisha Williams, Project Manager, Lead Designer, and Report Author for City College Architectural Center, 2003


In the first phase of the New York State Quality Communities Initiative, the City College Architectural Center (CCAC) examined opportunities for redevelopment in the central business district of Mount Vernon, a designated “NYS Quality Community.” The Analysis and Recommendations report provided a comprehensive start-up framework for integrating the city’s proposed arts district with far-sighted urban design and preservation strategies. While a full-time staff member at CCAC, Denisha Williams led the Mount Vernon project team as project manager, lead designer, and report author.


The Mount Vernon report offers an analysis of the regional transportation context, land use and zoning, and community priorities for an arts district. The recommendations developed include proposed open space connections to foster a more cohesive environment and spur greater activity in the local economy. In particular, the concept plan envisions connections to a proposed sports arena and hotel complex over the Metro-North rail line that bisects the central business district. In addition to improvements in pedestrian and vehicular circulation, streetscapes, and public spaces, the report suggests a number of storefront and facade improvements that would enhance the sense of place that residents desire for their downtown district.