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Old 06-12-2015, 07:31 PM
6,221 posts, read 5,056,931 times
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I think if done right, this will be a positive boost for downtown....
Though Augusta has a 10-year, $25 million Broad Street upgrade in the works funded through Transportation Investment Act money, up to $1.5 million is available now to get the Brown project started, said Engineering Director Abie Ladson. Subcommittee members agreed to do so.
Augusta Commission member Marion Williams said the Albany trip made him realize what Augusta could do with Brown and increase tourism overall.
“We need to do something to get us started in that direction,” he said.
With input from Brown’s daughter Deanna Brown Thomas, and local tourism, downtown and city officials, suggestions for revamping the Brown statue in the Broad Street median included:
• Immediate enhancements with lighting, landscaping, brick pavers and regular maintenance.
• Façade improvements to adjacent buildings and elsewhere including possible signs or “wraps,” recommended by Downtown Development Authority Director Margaret Woodard, to camouflage vacant storefronts.
• Evaluating Americans With Disabilities Act standards and creating better access.
• Putting historical markers at famous Brown sites, including a radio station and shoe shine stand.
• Pursuing an annual music festival, more exhibits at theAugusta Museum of History and a local legends series.
• Creating “augmented reality” exhibits where Brown’s image is projected at locations he frequented.
Brown Thomas is “very enthusiastic” about the plans, Rhinehart said.
In addition, the firm already selected to design the overall streetscape project, Cooper Carry, can get a plan for landscaping enhancements around the statue done “very quickly,” possibly by late July, Ladson said.
The initial effort must “enhance whatever we intend to do” overall, said Augusta Commissioner Ben Hasan, adding that holding a James Brown Festival next year would help “get the ball rolling.”
Momentum grows to enhance Augusta's tribute to James Brown | The Augusta Chronicle
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