Historic Downtown Branson Streetscape
Steve Prange, PE
Project Manager - Public coordination
I’m a strong advocate for community revitalization through strategic transportation improvement projects. Projects that must rely on proactive communications and effective public engagement to capture the unique history, culture, and values of a community present rare and exciting opportunities for design professionals. In my experience, I believe it’s how you manage the challenges of each individual project from concept to completion that make the end result very rewarding!
Personally, I grew up in a small town that was very proud of its historical downtown area. Main Street was the gathering place for our community. Although not nearly the size of downtown Branson, it was the “heart” of our community and a symbol of our spirit. Small town, friendly folks visiting at our hometown restaurant, bank, hardware store, or at annual holiday celebrations; I have many fond memories of those times and downtown places that I have always associated with coming home.
It’s truly remarkable how Branson has been able to preserve its rich small town character as it has grown into a first class tourist destination. In my opinion, Branson’s downtown captures a uniqueness that people find in small towns across America. It’s truly America’s downtown, and I can’t wait to be part of it
Fred Mathews, PE
Design & Implementation
My family began coming to Branson in the 1940’s for their annual vacation. They arrived by train from southeast Missouri. Every summer, Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins all came and stayed two or three weeks at Sammy Lane Resort where Branson Landing now stands. The whole gang stayed in the log cabins adjacent to Lake Taneycomo. My Dad always told the story of how the kids, tired from the long trip and sweaty from the summer heat, would dive into the swimming pool only to quickly jump back out because of the freezing cold water from Lake Taneycomo used to fill the pool. Now, 70-years later, my family still enjoys Branson, the Lakes and Ozark Mountains. My wife and I have lived in Southwest Missouri almost 30 years. I’ve been a civil engineer for over three decades. I get great satisfaction seeing things I designed years ago that still function and are enjoyed by the Public. Things we use every day but may not even notice, like: streets, waterlines, sanitary sewer systems, stormwater drainage, sidewalks. If you don’t notice them, they are doing their job. I’m excited about the Downtown Branson project because of my family’s connection to the area. This opportunity will only happen once in my career. An opportunity to have a positive influence on a community that gave my family so much pleasure; so many great vacations and so many memories.
Frank J. Zanaboni, Jr., ASLA
The design of outdoor spaces and the study of how people use them has been the main interest of my life. I never stop researching why people do what they do in the built environment. Every space is unique just as the people that use them are. It’s hard to put a finger on what actually makes a space special, let alone create that uniqueness from scratch. I believe there is no simple recipe, rather it includes heaping cup of old time history, a handful of one-of-a-kind citizens, a scoop of American spirit, and a dash of rib-sticking good humor. I remember driving down Main Street Branson over 15 years ago and seeing how unique and lively the downtown was. With the lake and the hills and the people…saying to myself “…something sure is cooking here…” I’ve been attracted to Southwest Missouri all my life. Born in St. Louis, raised and educated in California, but home is here in the hills— I’m a fifth generation Ozarkian. I like to get out and experience the surroundings from the ground up. From old tractors and grandkids to where the pavement ends…you can always find me out in the Ozarks looking and learning...
Thomas M. Gallagher, ASLA, LEED AP
Project Leadership With RATIO since 2004, Tom believes the primary role of landscape architecture is to bond the built environment with the local ecology. This requires an approach that integrates design, political and economic realities, and sustainable systems – skills that Tom provides at the highest levels. This broad view married with an eye for detail at many scales makes him ideally suited for the practice of urban design and campus planning. He brings a high level of energy and expectation to every project in which he is involved. His passion for design and ability to foster a collaborative atmosphere has made him a key team member on a wide spectrum of projects throughout the firm. Tom brings more than 18 years of experience to his projects, an outstanding ability in design communication and a focus on the wellness of communities.
John D. Jackson, ASLA, LEED AP
As an associate principal and the discipline leader for the landscape architecture and urban design discipline, John oversees the design process and management of the project team. An industry expert, John understands the significant impact that a compelling and engaging urban design can have on its community, recognizing that enhancing urban quality and character can be a key factor in retaining and growing new companies and talent. An advocate of place making, John oversees his team through comprehensive planning and design phases that emphasize combining art and design to produce quality, user-friendly spaces. Recognizing the complex challenges and multi-tiered objectives that emerge during the urba design process, John works to design spaces that are unique, comfortable and memorable.