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Downtown Design Guidelines


Appropriate design

Appropriate design and location for canvas awning that fits within the storefront space.


Over the last 100 years several types of awnings and canopies have been utilized in Stoughton and still are appropriate:
1. Retractable fabric awnings which roll or fold back toward the facade.
2. Stationary fabric awnings on a fixed pipe system.
3. Fixed canopies with sloping roofs.
4. Fixed canopies with flat roofs and railings—like small balconies.
As old photos of Stoughton reveal, awnings were used only where needed to protect shop interiors from the sun, mostly on the north side of the street. Flat-roofed fixed canopies which also served as balconies were used on both sides of the street at different historical times; frequently these were accessed through long second-floor windows.

Awnings and canopies provide shelter from the sun, rain and snow.
Awnings can be decorative as well as functional, and are available in many materials, colors and patterns. Today and in the past, their greatest value is energy conservation—protecting shops from unwanted heat gain.


Appropriate design

Appropriate design for a flat-roofed fixed canopy with simple railing and decorative brackets, based upon canopies from the 1890’s.

Guidelines on Awnings and Canopies

Awnings should fit within the storefront space: do not cover the side piers, or install above the lintel of the storefront.

Awnings should be made of weather-resistant canvas or vinyl fabric.

The color of awnings should complement facade colors;
solid colors or stripes are historically appropriate.

Signs on awnings should reflect historic precedents in placement.

Awnings should project no more than 4 to 7 feet.

Avoid awnings with a curved profile,
as these are not historically appropriate.

Lighting of awnings from behind is not acceptable because this detracts from the overall character of the facade. Permanent sloped canopies of aluminum, shakes or shingles are not appropriate unless they can be documented in old photographs.



Downtown Design Guidelines:  Building Width   Bay Spacing   Height & Bands   Proportion   Solids & Voids   Tonality
  Materials & Color   Roofs & Setbacks   Storefront Design   Lintel & Transom   Shop Windows   Entry   Storefront Doors
  Storefront Awnings   Upper Facades   Cornices & Windows   Upper Windows   Window Hoods   Signs   Sign Location

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