Rounding out parts of the Square

Friday, August 5, 2011
Amanda Martin works on designs that could be used to improve the appearance of Lewisburg's public square.

A public presentation today in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall is aimed at property owners, their representatives and tenants of seven Lewisburg public square properties, but those among the general public who are interested in knowing what could be here in the future may also attend.

The presentation is from 9:30 a.m. to noon today. Students taking a special summer class from the O'More College of Design in Franklin are enrolled in what the school calls Studio on the Square. This summer, Lewisburg has the small town public square that's the object of study. Previously, it's been in Pulaski and elsewhere. Students tour the area, study their assigned buildings and spaces and then apply their education and imagination.

Chapel Hill-area resident Sadie Marchant and her classmate Betsy Trabue were assigned to direct their attention to the Hamlin & Bolling Furniture Store and a building on the southeast corner of the square between the County Courthouse Annex and The Emporium. The students and their teacher call it the "shell" because it's been gutted as an owner started but has not completed renovations.

"For that building," instructor Rebecca Andrews, assistant professor of interior design at O'More College, explained, "they are creating a booklet to give ideas on what the building could become."

Mike Walker, the owner of the property on the right side of the First Avenue South building, indicated the students' project has real-world value. It could help the owner sell the property. Walker's building is for sale, too. It and the shell are represented by Russell Realty and Auction.

Lynn Russell Stocstill, owner-broker of Russell Realty and Auction, planned to attend the program this morning with special interest in two of the 15-minute presentations.

"Hopefully it will give prospective buyers an idea on what the buildings could look like," Stocstill said Thursday morning. "It's an excellent project for them," she said of the students.

"We have several properties listed around the square," Stocstill said. "The most recent came up Wednesday. It's the building that had been a flower shop."

Most recently known as Enchanted Gardens, the two-story building just south of Bank America used to house Carol's Petals and Lace.

Russell also represents both parts of what was Moss and Barnes clothing. On top of the square at Second and Commerce, Russell represents what's commonly known as the old Chinese restaurant.

This morning, O'More students Kimberly Kelly of Franklin and Amanda Martin of the Kansas City suburbs were set to show off their ideas on what an upstairs apartment could look like over what used to be a restaurant.

It's half a block west of an empty lot owned by former Mayor Bob Phillips and his wife, Faris. Plans for that space were drafted by O'More students Brittany Scott and Evan Millard who were developing ideas and building a three-dimensional model of what could be there, Andrews said.

Designs for the empty lot have been linked to the other structure assigned to Millard and Scott. It's the building next door that's been a game room and is currently presenting itself as the Bundles Galore Store where home and garden decorations are sold. eBay sales assistance is another service offered by Larry and Lea Coatis.

The Phillips' empty lot could become a farmers market, a music venue or outdoor movie theater, according to ideas arising from Millard and Scott.

An extrapolation of such thinking -- the eBay store could become a restaurant and the empty lot could become an alfresco dining area, according to Andrews.

Such thinking is offered at no cost to the Lewisburg and Marshall County community this morning as a result of the Studio on the Square class conducted here by O'More College of Design in Franklin.