Plans for revitalization in Charlestown have been around for a while now. Urban renewal in the 1960s destroyed Charlestown’s “historic” feel that gives many small towns in southern Indiana a unique charm and aesthetic appeal attractive to homebuyers and businesses (Madison, New Albany, Jeffersonville). A drive through our streets shows numerous empty buildings and a hodgepodge of styles.
After his most recent election, Mayor Bob Hall and his current administration developed a comprehensive plan in 2016 intended to bring back our curb appeal, create some cohesion, and give citizens and potential developers insight on what we *might* look like as we face future growth inspired by continued development in River Ridge. Bob’s first big project took off last year with the announcement of the Renaissance coming to the corner of Main and Market streets. Last Tuesday Mayor Bob proudly released the renderings (for which the city payed $6,000) of the first phase of the Renaissance I project. Many people were quick to point out on his Facebook page that the design, although sleek and attractive, fails to meet the standard they remember from the comprehensive plan.
Here’s a short look at the way that the plans for the area have evolved under Bob’s leadership:
In 2010 the Beautification Committee sketched some ideas for ways to revive the image of the town. Pictured above is the sketch for one of Charlestown’s few remaining historic buildings. This building was removed in the demolition for the Renaissance project….
…Next we had the 2016 Comprehensive Plan …. This is the image that most people remember; a living/working/pedestrian friendly space:
…And finally, the plan approved:
I wonder what the next day will bring and how plans will change….