The Buffalo News reported last week on the recommendations of the 4 experts that the National Trust for Historic Preservation sent our way under the Main St program. Some of the high lites were:
Schuette said Emmanuel United Methodist Church should be asked to allow use of its parking lot at Chestnut and Washburn streets for a Saturday morning farmers’ market, perhaps also including art, as a companion attraction to the Niagara County Produce store across the street. He also said Route 78 should run from North Transit Street to Main and Market streets instead of bypassing the business district. “It really is the route that would tell your story,” Schuette said.

I think both ideas have some merit. I've always wondered why Rt 78 continued on to N Transit and through the residential streets over to Clinton. I wouldn't run it down Main St though since running tractor trailers down it is probably not optimal. If it were ran continuous with Rt 31 from Transit then hooked a left on Locust and then on to Market It would still give more of a sense of DT. Or it could hook a left at Pine then onto Gooding and then Clinton where it currently ends up. This would take traffic through one of the more scenic intersections of downtown and right over the Locks. Having the Locks located right on 78 would also make for easier tourism directions.
As for the "Farmers Market" I think it would be a better fit somewhere else than its current location on Walnut St. next to Molinaro's toward the rear of the lot. In a separate article it was noted:
It <<the city>> authorized the farmers’ market daily from April 1 to Nov. 30 in the municipal parking lot on Walnut Street west of Pine Street. Consultants on downtown revitalization had suggested moving it to the parking lot of Emmanuel United Methodist Church at Washburn and Chestnut streets, but Tucker said, “We’ll keep it where it’s been.”
To be honest, I didn't even realize that what was set-up over there last summer was actually a farmer's market when I drove by. There is really no synergy with anything else near it. The tie in with Niagara Produce is a nice idea though I doubt EUMC would want a part of their parking lot tied up all summer as the farmer's market is daily. It is too bad that there is not another municipal lot available that would put the farmer's market a little closer to some action. I wonder if it would work over by the restored buildings on Canal St. It would add some life over there and add interest until they get rented and maybe draw some people over who are visiting the locks. A city sign for what it actually is may help a bit too.
The consultants also gave thier input on the ramp redo:
The National Trust crew said Lockport does not make enough use of the canal through its heart. Schuette suggested a water-powered elevator to lift people from the locks and the Canalway Trail to Main Street. Elise Tinsley of the National Trust’s Washington office said that when the city demolishes the crumbling Main Street parking ramp and replaces it with an underground garage, it should lean toward the park like option for the top of the garage, leading to the canal overlook.

An overview expressed by them:

Capping a three-day visit to the city, the experts brought in by the National Trust’s Main Street Program said Lockport residents have to get over their memories of the pre-urban renewal downtown and blaze a new trail based on historic preservation and authenticity. “You’re in better shape than the community thinks it’s in,” said Kent Schuette, associate professor of architecture and historic preservation at Purdue University.

I think we are in good shape and are taking those small steps to fill our DT back in. We do need to gradually fill in the gaps and introduce residential sooner or later if we want it to be more than a few stores with parking lots. We should cherish are memories of what was there, but instead of hopelessly ending our effort there, we should use it to guide us as we build it back up: a walkable environment, small store fronts, a variety of uses, etc.

2 comments:

Liz said...

I love all of these ideas. Something else I'd love to see is more bike racks downtown and bike lanes on streets like Clinton.

purkiee said...

SOME GOOD COUNTRY MUSIC WOULD BE A GOOD THING AS WELL AS CDB AND MAYBE AN AMERICAN IDOLS OF SOME SORTS..ALSO I DONT THINK THERE WAS A FEMALE ARTIST LAST YR WHATS UP..MAYBE EVEN SOME TEMPTATIONS..FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART BABY BOOMERS
THANKS BARBARA H

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