It's a hot June First Friday in Downtown Gadsden, Alabama. Mayor Sherman Guyton, Shane Ellison, Kay Moore and various other important folks in the community have come to the corner of 5th Street and Locust to celebrate the relocation of the Gadsden farmers market to it's new location.
The farmer's market has been a great success for quite some time, but the former location was a just an empty parking lot in front of the Greater Gadsden Tourism Board. It was mostly functional but lacked protection from the elements and any structure that it could call home.
An old warehouse at the corner of 5th and Locust had remained vacant for many years. This is prime real estate but it proved to not be a good fit for various other uses. The building had a lot of character but most didn't notice. It was a bit like that vintage car in your neighbor's driveway that you couldn't help but notice initially but eventually it just became background.
So, once again, the City of Gadsden makes a wise decision about one of it's downtown structures and decided that an adaptive reuse of the building would be a great idea. The farmer's market would have a permanent home every Friday and the building could be utilized for other purposes on other days. Perhaps a concert or family reunion could happen there. I suppose the potential uses are endless.
Now there isn't time to design a renovation of the building prior to harvest, so it makes sense to begin utilizing the building now and plan for renovations to occur in the fall. We have made some assumptions about what the potential renovation could look like, but we have not yet began a full design effort. I fully expect that, while the computer generated rendering looks pretty cool, the final product will certainly be a bit different.
In the meantime, I plan to walk a couple of blocks every Friday morning and purchase some locally grown veggies for the week to come. Perhaps next year, I will do the same, but in a much more interesting space.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!