Main Street Laurens and Main Street Walhalla each received $3,500 toward projects to make their downtown districts more welcoming and usable. These Vibrant Placemaking Grants came from a partnership between AARP South Carolina and Main Street South Carolina
“Main Street organizations are uniquely positioned to inspire change and make their downtown commercial districts more livable and age-friendly. We are currently exploring additional partnerships to increase grant awards in 2022,” said Main Street SC Manager Jenny Boulware.
Here’s how the programs are using the grant funds:
Laurens’ Downtown Pedestrian Plaza
The City of Laurens has been closing off a parking lot on its downtown square for seating and activities during its Friday Night Live events. Now, the city is expanding that effort into a permanent pedestrian gathering space, fulfilling the desires of businesses for more outdoor seating areas. The city also established a new parking area to increase the total downtown parking capacity despite the spaces lost in the plaza.
Main Street Laurens is using grant funds for Adirondack chairs, pedestrian crossing signage, streetlamp banners identifying the plaza and event marketing signage. The plaza will become a place for scheduled events including the farmers market, other existing events and regular live music offered by Laurens’ new taproom.
The City of Laurens is expanding its Friday Night Live events with a permanent pedestrian gathering space. (Hi-res image)
Walhalla’s Main Street Shade Sail Pavilion
The City of Walhalla purchased a lot at a major downtown intersection to control development and established the property as Browns Square, a greenspace suitable for events. Now a partnership between the city and Main Street Walhalla is seeking to move Walhalla’s farmers market from a low-visibility location to this space.
Main Street Walhalla is using grant funds to add a shade structure at the square and Adirondack chairs for the space. Because the structure has large, colorful sails, it is intended to draw travelers’ attention to events in the space and the city itself.
Main Street Walhalla will expand the shading and seating space at Browns Square with funds from a Vibrant Placemaking Grant. (Hi-res image)