by MIGDALIA RIVERA
Hernando Sun Correspondent
Recently, two highly attended town forums were held to discuss ‘DOWNTOWN BROOKSVILLE FUTURE DESIGN CONCEPT’ sponsored by Brooksville Main Street and The Brooksville Vision Foundation, supporting Florida Main Street Program in partnership with the City of Brooksville and Hernando County. ‘The Main Street Program has brought a positive impact to many cities in Florida and across the USA.’
The town forums presented by Randy L. Wilson, President of Community Design Solutions, and Andy Kalback, landscape architect from Kalback Design provided a vision on possibilities to enhance, enlarge, and dramatically improve Historic Downtown Brooksville.
On Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, at Andrew Jackson Post 99 in Brooksville, Randy Wilson and Andy Kalback discussed ‘what can be done and where we need to go.’ Wilson sought suggestions from attendees on what they would like to do and on how to make Historic Downtown Brooksville a vibrant place. An outpouring of ideas from a full house of local merchants, residents, private and public sector offices and spectators included; adding color to storefronts, maintaining Brooksville’s history, parks with flowers and landscaping, shade for places to sit, ice cream parlor, recreational activities to excite children, historical & decorative murals, sculptures, bringing back two way street traffic, additional parking, a bike path, a trolley extending beyond Historic Downtown Brooksville, a dog park, a Whole Foods Market, creating apartments and so on. The Q & A also sought references to other places folks have been that were desirable and vibrant.
A culmination of ideas and suggestions discussed were developed into design solutions. Wilson and Kalback presented schematics, site plans, streetscapes, and graphics on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at GFWC Historic Brooksville Women’s Club. Unveiled were landscaping designs for sidewalks and crosswalks, paving streets, extending the pavement onto the sidewalk activating foot traffic, expanding the sidewalk with hedges creating outdoor seating, storefront facade enhancements and rehab, art work for the Water Tower, street games and much more.
Corner intersections were a big enhancement concept, to slow down traffic as you enter Historic Downtown Brooksville. The slower pace encourages folks to park, enter a cafe, have an ice cream, walk the streets and explore the shops, restaurants and galleries, or simply sit in a beautifully landscaped open area and enjoy the environment.
The consensus was to make a walking town, with ongoing pedestrian traffic to enrich and maximize what we already have, a historic community with century old oak trees cascading with Spanish moss, a town with a vibrant past and an ever growing present.
As per Ryan A. Malloy, ‘It all starts somewhere, by showing up in the masses we know you care about this city of ours, and want it to flourish.’
The full presentation can be viewed on YouTube. For additional information on the strategic development going forward contact Ryan A. Malloy, Executive Director, BROOKSVILLE MAIN STREET, 352/540-6409, or email, [email protected].