Downtown Alliance has guest speakers to boost public square

Friday, July 9, 2010

A local group of merchants and residents of Marshall County interested in renewal of Lewisburg's public square as a hub of activity in the community is inviting the general public to an open meeting with guest speakers who are experts in this field.

The Lewisburg Downtown Alliance will host Dan Brewer, a Lewisburg native and an official with BrewerIngramFuller Architects, Inc., Knoxville, and Brianne Huitt, also from Lewisburg, of the South Central Tennessee Development District at the Alliance's monthly meeting on Thursday, July 15, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held upstairs in Lewisburg's City Hall.

Brewer has been working with other communities in the development of Main Street USA programs. Main Street USA is an advocacy group for revitalization of small town squares, larger cities' commercial districts and the preservation of American architecture.

"Brewer will inform us on ways of enhancing the visual appearance of Downtown Lewisburg through addressing design elements to create an appealing environment," the Rev. Leland Cardin, president of the Alliance, said Thursday. "Huitt is the new regional historic preservation planner for the South Central Tennessee Development District, and she will bring us information on preservation and revitalizations issues, grants, and resources available, and the processes involved in obtaining them.

"Brewer and Huitt have offered to assist the LDA out of interest in and love for their hometown," Lewisburg, the LDA president said.

The Lewisburg Downtown Alliance was born out of the concerns of a number of local citizens about the well being and future of downtown Lewisburg and the surrounding area. Working with representatives of the State of Tennessee Board of Economic Development a number of these persons developed the framework for a community organization committed to reviving, improving, and strengthening downtown Lewisburg, patterned after the Tennessee Main Street program.

LDA's vision is to develop, preserve, and promote historic downtown Lewisburg as a thriving and appealing destination point of community activities and commerce, therefore nurturing community pride. LDA's mission is to plan for the future, while preserving the past. LDA is registered as a local not-for-profit organization and has applied for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service.

Current officers are President Leland T. Carden, Vice-President Ron Maggi, Secretary Mathew Morton and Treasurer Clay Ledford. The work of the LDA is administered through a Board of Directors elected from the membership and four committees: Design, Organization, Promotion, and Economic Restructuring. Members may volunteer to serve on these committees.

LDA will be supported through membership fees, grants, and fundraising events. Individuals or businesses may obtain membership through several levels: individual, family, business, partner, patron, or student. Proprietors, property owners, and citizens interested in working toward the fulfillment of the LDA vision, are invited to support the efforts of the Lewisburg Downtown Alliance, Inc. by attending meetings and becoming a member. The LDA is currently meeting on 3rd Thursdays at designated locations while seeking space for a permanent office in the downtown area.