History, heart and soul

History, heart and soul
Scott Wohlers, SMMA President, speaks to the crowd during the ceremonial unveiling of the new banners that will adorn the streetscapes of San Marco.

San Marco Merchants Association unveils new neighborhood banners

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, the San Marco Merchants Association (SMMA) unveiled a series of new banners that will welcome residents and visitors alike to the community.

Three collections, each consisting of four banners in rich, vibrant colors, will rotate on lampposts along Hendricks Avenue, San Marco Boulevard and Atlantic Boulevard down to San Marco Square. The banners will at the outskirts of the neighborhood at the intersections of Hendricks Avenue and Prudential Drive and San Marco Boulevard and Gary Street to the north; and Atlantic Boulevard and the train tracks to the east.

“We worked really hard as a group to come up with something that would make our neighborhood stand out and be different than every other neighborhood in the community,” said SMMA President Scott Wohlers during the unveiling ceremony. “…That’s what we did and that’s what I hope we’ve captured with these banners is that we truly captured the history, the heart and the soul of San Marco.”

Board member Anita Vining said the idea for new banners has been in the works for quite a while.

“We had the banners but they’d grown faded and tired so this was a mission for our board for quite a while — we just needed money to do it,” she explained.

Proceeds from the inaugural San Marco Beer Fest earlier this year finally allowed SMMA to allocate funds for new banners and, Vining said, fellow board member Marla Quattrone saw it as an opportunity to create something “really good.”

The banners’ rich colors are reminiscent of San Marco’s foliage through the seasons, explained Quattrone, who is also a member of SMMA’s beautification committee member, while the Art Deco font and gold arches speak to the 1920s — the era during which San Marco “really started to flourish as a neighborhood community.”

SMMA worked with Raintree Graphics, a Jacksonville-based printing company, to create the banners once the final design was determined.

Quattrone said the “self-guided” nature of the project made it a “rewarding” and “positive” process, allowing for a wide range of input and ideas to create something that “reflected the very best” of the community.

Quattrone added that her hope is these banners “reinforce what people already believe about San Marco or that people start to see San Marco in a new light. That’s the purpose, to me, of the banners and what drove the design.”

The banners are expected to be installed as soon as possible.

By Michele Leivas
Resident Community News

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