The lesser-known Railyard quietly shines
When you think of the Railyard District, does Baca Street come to mind? It may not, but the area off Cerrillos Road adjacent to Baca Street that enters at Flagman Way and continues around the horseshoe loop along Shoofly Lane, is in fact part of the 50-acre Railyard District. It’s called the Baca Railyard District, or Baca District.
“It’s the hidden gem of the plan,” says Faith Okuma. As principal-in-charge at Surroundings, a multidisciplinary design studio, she helped design the master plan and design guidelines for the city-owned land. “But [the area] was never firmly connected to the Railyard other than by “social trails”—the paths created by people along the backside of Baca Street to the north end of the School for the Deaf. “If it was going to be a district,” Okuma says, “they needed to be connected.” So, when conceptualizing the area, a connection was included. “We didn’t know if it’d be an overpass or an underpass.”