The first two blocks of West Louther Street may be getting a makeover.
“We want to see what we can do to liven this area to make it look a little more user-friendly, walking friendly — make it look like its cared for,” said Glenn White, executive director of Downtown Carlisle Association.
Much of the downtown beautification work, such as hanging baskets and planters, happens along the main thoroughfares of Hanover and High streets. The association’s design committee, which handles a lot of the outdoor livability projects, started looking into the possibility of extending its work onto West Louther, White said.
He said it’s a tough street with long walls at the Sadler Health Center building and at the post office. Sight lines are interrupted by parking lots and chain link fences.
Some of the ideas to beautify the street can be done easily. That includes painting the parking meters, putting out planters and filling in empty street tree cut-outs with new trees.
Other projects would take more time.
Chris Chiampi, a landscape architect and urban designer at FSA, said the proposed streetscape revisions would also focus on the intersection of North Pitt and West Louther streets, a corner anchored by the United Church of Christ on one corner and the Minute Stop on the other. Plans include introducing different colors or designs into the crosswalks to capture the eye of people who pass through the intersection, even if they never turn onto Louther Street.
The last facet to the streetscape would be what Chiampi called the “wow factor” that would change the blank wall at the Sadler building into a mural. Concept art for the project showed the possibility of adding an abstract art mural or a painted streetscape that would incorporate a glow in the dark paint that would counter the darkness of the street at night.
The price for the mural could be anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.
The DCA is working with Color Carlisle about having that organization involved in the project, and would secure an agreement to assure the mural would stay up for a period of time, even if Sadler were to move.
White said DCA is working on finalizing the plan and gathering input from the community. Once the final cost is determined, the association will have to look for funding through grants and potentially private funding.
“We are looking at trying to get some things out on the street probably in the springtime to fall through next year also. We are working in phases,” White said.