Wilmington’s talking to us

After spending an evening in downtown Wilmington I came away with a few ideas that could work for improving Greenfield’s business district.

Murphy Theatre & Wilmington (18)Our purpose for being in Wilmington was to attend an event at the historic Murphy Theatre. In the block the theatre sits on are a number of ideas worth considering. First of all is what to do with

vacant lots if storefronts were to be demolished. Well, such was the case a few doors down from the Murphy and a vacant lot was  made into a lovely small park named Darbyshire Place. Ivy covered walls, wrought iron fencing, a free library box, and beautiful landscaping certainly makes it a place to pick up a cup of espresso from the coffee shop next door, borrow a book, and wile away some time. Something to consider when trying to decide what to do with places like the former Blake’s building or Who’s Place. Or, something Dr. Orr could do with the former Rosie’s Bar lot he now owns.

Architect Doug Karnes has outlined plans for opening businesses in Greenfield’s vacant storefronts and this Wilmington block has a couple of them up and running, a bookstore/café and an Internet online gaming parlor. There’s also a nice candy shop standing ready to saté the sweet tooth of theatre goers. While candy alone may not pay the bills other items could be offered such as gourmet coffees, teas, spices, extracts, homemade fresh baked goods, etc.

The other thing that really caught my eye was a small alleyway parking lot that connects the main street with a larger parking lot behind the city building. One wall contains with a remarkable mural, light strings have been strung between the two buildings, and a portable stage sits at the far end. This space is used weekly during the season to house Wilmington’s farmer’s market. I’m guessing it also serves as an outdoor venue for other events such as musical performances.

Greenfield has the perfect place to replicate this, the brick paved General Hull Place that circles the village building.  Aerial lighting could be strung between the village building and Pythias Castle and the area could be used for the farmers market, outdoor movie nights, street dances, performances, band concerts, and so much more. The cost would be minimal.

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