Reviving the Old Iron City

An integrated branding & streetscape plan that aims to connect more people to downtown Blacksburg, SC through enhancements to the built environment and a modernized branding strategy.

Revitalizing a small town’s downtown core through improved pedestrian-friendly design elements and a complementary community brand. 

Historic Assets, Future Opportunities 

In the 19th-Century, Blacksburg, SC was a booming hub of economic activity thanks to the discovery of valuable iron ore that led to an “iron rush” and a period of economic prosperity for the town. Fast forward over a century later, and the “Iron City” nickname is the only remaining reminder of those prosperous times, as harsh new economic realities have taken hold in Blacksburg. 

DbD’s involvement in Blacksburg was routed in charting a new path forward for the town that doesn’t bury its history, but rather, embraces it through a modernized downtown streetscape and branding strategy. The DbD plan helps to meld the town’s historic downtown assets like its railroad and historic buildings with promising new opportunities to enhance the downtown environment, like the proposed Lime Street Park and the Overmountain Victory Trail. 

Blacksburg is located in close proximity to various assets, including; I-85, US-29, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the Broad River, and Kings Mountain State Park. US Highway 29 runs through the heart of downtown Blacksburg, but the high volume of traffic going through downtown has historically not been capitalized on due to a lack of compelling streetscape amenities. The recommended pedestrian-friendly streetscape improvements put forward by the DbD team will help Blacksburg capture more visitor traffic – and dollars – in its downtown.

Downtown Blacksburg
Existing Downtown Blacksburg

Logos and Marks 

The Blacksburg project allowed the DbD team to showcase our expertise in both streetscape design/planning and community branding. Transformative downtown revitalization efforts in rural communities are pivotal to fostering a sense of culture, building community, and spurring private investment. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of DbD and community partners in Blacksburg, the Iron City will soon be able to forge a more prosperous future for its citizens. 

Bold Branding

Like the streetscape plan, the Blacksburg brand strategy was designed to pay homage to its unique history and to embrace its promising future. The brand logo embodies the toughness of a centuries-old rail town that is steamrolling forward. Blacksburg is fortunate to have a catchy and distinct nickname that differentiates it from its peers, and the new brand logo will help to further leverage this asset.