While Urban Thinkscape Halifax is not 100% complete this project has had an impact here in downtown Halifax. As you can see from the pictures attached the alleyway is now lighted and connects to Main Street, and the crosswalk leading over to the Exxon Main Street Plaza where the Halifax County Quality of Place group and the Town hosted a two day Better Block event. We are still waiting for some delayed survey work to be completed along with some construction/maintenance easement agreements to be finalized with 2 adjoining property owners. Once these agreements are in place the site grading and hardscaping will be completed first with some of the landscaping taking shape at the end of the summer.
In working with Hill Studio we have a "jumping feet" design that is unique to our area here in Halifax County. This project activity includes paw print squares of wildlife that can be found here in Halifax. This allows us the opportunity to educate all ages on the different wildlife here. We do have 2 bistro sets that allow for adults/kids to enjoy or do some office or homework outside, an outdoor connect 4 game that is great for all ages to enjoy. A local contractor built two little libraries for the space, one being for adults and the other for kids, we also have two larger planters that will set at the front entrance of the alleyway, these planters and other plantings within the alleyway will be completed with many of our community volunteers of all ages.
Having cleaned up this alleyway and installing the lights and the mural has increased the amount of traffic using this space. We are seeing more folks parking around back on Houston Street and using this space to get to Main Street and stopping to enjoy the mural.
This Urban Thinkscape space leads you to our historical downtown district! You can see in the pictures just how well it leads you to the crosswalk and Main Street.
While COVID and other things have slowed us down a bit we are still moving along. You can see the alley before it was cleaned and then you can see it with the beautiful outdoor lighting that was donated and installed by Elliott Electric, and thanks to Marsha Hite with Hite Insurance for allowing Elliott Electric to run the power needed to her building. We now have a beautiful mural of Halifax County on the Hite Insurance wall of the alley. This mural was designed and installed by local artists Obie Coleman and Alexis Williams. This mural highlights landmarks throughout Halifax County such as the Courthouse, The Prizery, Berry Hill Resort, War Memorial, South Boston Speedway and many more favorites. So many people don't realize what is here in Halifax County and this map allows us to point out just a few of the many great destinations here. You can see how many people have been stopping by to visit the mural. You can see our free libraries (not yet installed) one will be for children and the other for adults. We hope to encourage learning through play and healthy activity with outdoor games for everyone of all ages. You can see a schematic of the alleyway (next to the last pic) it does show our jumping feet as the main walkway, a rain catchment system, placement for bistro tables, which can be used for outdoor learning or dining. With the last picture you can see how the alleyway connects to our main street/crosswalk.
After a bit of a hiatus we are getting back on track and moving forward with this wonderful project.
Last week Chris Lawrie with Hill Studio came in and visited with the working group and was able to take a look at the project site. Chris surveyed the site and together we all came up with some great ideas to make this a great learning/teaching space for the entire community. Chris will work up a schematic and send back to us.
Local artist Obie Coleman and Alexis Williams visited the site again and produced an early mock-up of the mural that will go on the left hand side of the alleyway, on the Hite Insurance Building. The group had some great ideas/suggestions which the artist will incorporate into the mural and send back a final for review.
County resident Bobby Conner joined several of us to help brainstorm a bit. We do have a storm water issue that we have to address. We want to be able to recycle/reuse this water. We need to move the water from the front of the building to the back where the current gutter is located. Bobby will help us come with something creative/artistic that will give us the opportunity to teach the community about recycling/reusing rain water.
Hi Gals and guys! So I just bought a house near you all( so I'm back! ) what can I do to help? My resume has got quite extensive. I know I can contribute a diverse set of skills that I brought with me. Get in touch!
I have contacted Ricky Loftis with Sparkle Wash Systems and he will be by to take a look at the wall and let me know what needs to be done (do we need to remove the vines prior to pressure washing or will they come down with the pressure wash). I will be back in touch as soon as he comes by.