This week I wanted to discuss downtown’s current architectural state and what a person may see in the coming years as downtown progresses. Lately I have been thinking about what aspects iconic cities have in their downtown. I recently visited Charleston, SC and their downtown was, what I would consider, the epitome of southern architecture. Large buildings with columns reaching 2 stories high, everything one would expect the south to be after watching movies like Sweet Home Alabama and Forrest Gump.
When you look at other famous downtown destinations: San Francisco, Santa Fe, New York City, etc. you will see a common theme within them. More often than not, these cities stay within their theme; for example New York City is known for its Art Decoratif (Art Deco) style buildings that separate it from many other US cities.
So how does this fit in with downtown Las Cruces?
With famous NM downtown locations in Santa Fe and Taos, Las Cruces needs that same edge to define itself as a premier location for travelers and locals. With a mix of historical and non-historical buildings in our downtown, Las Cruces has a lot of potential to create a mix of the past and future on Main Street.
The first step here would be to see if the particular building is considered historical; if it is not, you are free to play as much as you want with the facade. If the building is considered historical a starting point would be to see what you can do to rehabilitate the building by researching building guidelines.
Another step would be to consider what kind of business should be placed in the specific building to draw people downtown. A funky bar or restaurant in a historical building could do wonders for livening up the facade without a lot of rehabilitation costs. For business owners this could easily be the domino effect to inspire others to revamp their facades along Main street creating a harmony of both modern and historical. The atmosphere of a downtown area largely depends on store fronts and building upkeep.
So what do you want to see in downtown’s future architecture? Leave us a comment below!
Disclaimer: this is my own opinion and is not affiliated with any actual plans of what downtown architecture will look like.