Main Street Laurens Presents Plan

Thursday night at Laurens City Hall, Main Street Laurens hosted Tee Coker, Planning Associate of ALTA Planning and Design who gave all those in attendance a glimpse into the future of what Downtown Laurens could look like in a few years.

A visual presentation of the Downtown Master Plan, which was a final step of a three day visit of the planning and design firm.The presentation of all aspects of the downtown area transformed into; “An active place, which is the center of commerce and art, where residents can interact, learn and grow,” said Coker.

Some of the ideas to achieve that goal, were traffic configuration, utilizing the existing and proposed trails and greenways, expanding the downtown to include the historic Sullivan Park and Rich Hill areas.

Another idea was to give a permanent home to the Laurens Farmers Market, which could be a recipient of a USDA grant.

An enticing picture showing Palmetto St renamed Festival Street, with the pavement removed showing the brick underneath, closed off to traffic, and a new

amphitheater at the bottom of the hill, with the buildings on that street housing eateries and roof cafes.

The historic courthouse at the square was described by Coker as,”The most underutilized building in Laurens County.”

Ideas expressed in the presentation included, expanding use of the courthouse to accommodate programs for local colleges.

New street trees lining the square, civic and public art especially highlighting our rich African American Heritage were also ideas.

The presentation gave idea to a playground area near the railroad tracks, by the extra lot of a local car dealership, which would be there for all ages and all abilities, especially if the local railroads would install a quite crossing.

Besides showing what “could be,” the presentation gave practical steps to achieve these goals, such as contacting the local railroad companies, consulting with the local colleges, and trying to find local benefactors that may do what was done in other upstate towns who have funded a local, “Historic Boutique Hotel.”

The signage used by the city of Traveler’s Rest, was shown as an example to what is called, “Wayfinding Signs,” which were decorative and not that expensive.

The mayor, city council, local business owners, and concerned residents were all on hand for the hour and a half presentation.