By Karen Brainard
A dozen architecture students recently took a tour of Ramona and will be working on determining architectural character and identity for Ramona’s town core.
The students are in the master’s program at the NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego and are under the instruction of Howard Blackson, the PlaceMakers consultant who is working on developing custom-tailored zoning and design standards for Ramona. Blackson has been working in conjunction with the Ramona Village Design Group.
During the 10-week class, the students will try to determine an identity for Ramona that is not Poway and is not Julian, and they will come up with 12 different projects, said Blackson. Some students will focus on buildings while others will work on blocks.
Blackson told members of those attending the village design group last Thursday that the students liked the new Ramona library and the historic Town Hall.
When Blackson brought the students to town on Monday, Oct. 10, he began at the library, where he showed them a map of the downtown area. He then led the students east down Main Street.
Standing in the parking lot of Mananas Mexican Food, students commented on the amount of traffic driving through the downtown.
Student Jeffrey Grossman said he was expecting Ramona to be more like Julian. While one knows Julian’s identity right away, that is not the case with Ramona, he said.
Thomas Ross, another student, said Ramona reminded him of what Thousand Oaks, north of Los Angeles, used to look like.
Blackson is seeking help from the community with the students’ mid-term presentations on Ramona. He invited those attending the Oct. 13 village design meeting to the Nov. 7 mid-terms at the school of architecture. More information will be available at a later date, he said.