I live in a small river town, where the cliché downtown has unfortunately become the truly economically depressed downtown. Though a few restaurants and stores have survived, there are many more empty places rather than full now. The buildings have some beauty to them still; the architecture that survives shows the wear and tear of years of rain, snow, ice, and sun.
When I walk the sidewalks on this street (it’s a one street downtown), and dream about what could be done there. First of all, the buildings are restored. Clean off the plank wood, repair the old architecture, new paint, new plaster, and new bricks. Then, from the repaired buildings, put in beautiful wooden floors and crystal clear windows.
I imagine this as I walk down the sidewalk, and imagine elegantly decorative signs showcasing artisans who have taken up residence here. Glass blowers, wool felters, sculptors, painters, photographers, writers, architects, craftsman, would slowly fill the buildings and take up residence for studios. Soon, beautiful pieces would be shown in the windows. Music would be heard on cool spring days drifting from open windows. Clinics would be held and people would gather to learn about different types of arts. Children would have a place that is safe for them to explore texture, color, and new things.
Wouldn’t it be beautiful?