Plans to revitalize downtown Coalgate

By  | 

COALGATE, OK -- Several historic buildings in downtown Coalgate are crumbing and at the point of collapse. Kristen Shanahan tells us about a project in the works to give Main Street a complete makeover.

This building has been home to many stores over the past century, but now it is empty and falling apart.

"The firewalls are just disintegrating. They're crumbling. You can rub it probably within 20 minutes you'll be into the other building," Washburn said.

Rebecca Washburn owns the building and says it is barely holding together.

Washburn says she has removed the roof and other parts of the structure.

"Trying to get it just were safe were I don't want any kids to get hurt," Washburn said .

"The time has come where we have to do something. We have to fix some of these problems, or our town will completely blow away," Leaird said.

Coal County Economic Development Director Allen Leaird says plans are in the works to modernize Coalgate's downtown.

"We're going to have to look at what we're going to have to do to revitalize downtown, but do it in a way where it's possible," Leaird said.

Leaird says they plan to rebuild one brick at a time.

"We're going to pick one block and basically put all our efforts into revitalizing that block, and when it's complete we're going to move on to the next block," Leaird said.

Leaird says reconstructing the buildings from the ground up will not only bring them up to code, but help bring more business to Coal County.

"We want to create an atmosphere downtown that encourages people to come in ready to go," Leaird said.

"Landscaping and the attraction of it is what pulls you into the business," Washburn said.

In the upcoming weeks Leaird says the chamber plans to hold a special meeting to talk about the Main Street project. He encourages residents with questions or concerns to come voice their opinions.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus