“Downtown is important because it’s the heart and soul of a community. If you don’t have a healthy downtown, you simply don’t have a healthy town.” - Ed McMahon
Brenham’s focus on revitalization has benefited our community in a number of ways:
Downtown allows interesting places to flourish.
Once a blighted, pothole-filled former drive-thru and parking area, Alamo Alley now offers a landscaped, pedestrian-friendly connection from Main Street parking to shopping along West Alamo Street. It’s a public space that is more than just a connection – it’s a place where people gather for events, or just hang out and catch their breath.
Once a weed-infested, blighted area that offered nothing visual or fun, Belle’s Alley now offers connectivity between busy Alamo Street and up-and-coming Commerce Street - with a straight shot to beautiful Ant Street Inn. Walking thru Belle’s Alley – named for the local Fire Department’s long-time Dalmatian mascot, Belle – you might be surprised to find a “backdoor” entrance to another interesting place!
Once an empty lot with lots of stickers and a weird circle of old bricks in the ground, a donation of the property by Mimi and Leon Toubin, led to our interesting little pocket park – Toubin Park – where some of our fascinating history, beautiful landscaping, a real cistern and an antique pump water feature are shared with folks who stop by to check out this find.
Downtown Brenham celebrates our individuality as a city.
Over the years of our revitalization journey, the public and private sectors have seen the benefit of capitalizing on our own particular combination of past and present.
Downtown is a visual history of our community. From the late 1800’s (COMMERCE STREET DIRT ROAD AND HORSES PIC), to the early 1900’s like these buildings (PHOTO of DINKIN’S BUILDING), downtown also showcases a great example of a time period when we were trying to modernize our buildings to compete with growth and movement out to the loop. (FASKE’S BUILDING).
Today, although it might be the cause of some growing pains, we’re drawing new people and new excitement downtown by offering high quality work by highly-regarded street art muralists on what were once blank walls. (MURAL PHOTOS)
This particular eclectic mix of old and new is something that is uniquely Downtown Brenham.
Downtown Brenham offers a sense of place.
Well-respected urbanist planner Jane Jacobs, said “what makes (downtown) lively is the way so many different kinds of activity tend to support each other”, and that’s what’s happening in Downtown Brenham.
It’s the amazing combination of commercial, cultural and civic, activities that are driving our success as a place people want to be – to work, to play, to eat, to shop, to take photographs, to just hang out with friends and relax, or to have a drink and enjoy our night life offerings.
(HOT NIGHTS PHOTO)
Downtown Brenham directly impacts our hometown economy.
Whether it’s the people who work downtown; the sales, property and HOT taxes that are generated by a thriving downtown; or the glimpse into how much we value our history, by businesses considering locating in our area; Downtown is an economic engine that offers our community a ROI that keeps on giving.
Downtown Brenham is the historic core of our community.
Downtown buildings embody our past and its visual identity. Preserving it is smart because the concentration of businesses in one area uses community resources wisely – resources like infrastructure, tax dollars and land.
Downtown Brenham is both cool in its offerings, and authentic to our history. People are choosing Downtown Brenham – and whether it’s to work or play, people are spending their time and money here and the whole community benefits.