Rethinking an Alley


Historic Buckeye is starting to shape up in so many ways.  Buckeye Main Street Coalition will be working on the Alley along Benbow Veterans Park.  This alley is top of the hit list for 2013-2016 Design Initiatives because it is at the epicenter for the latest revitalization efforts.  The alley  is the artery for Café 25:35 and Benbow Veterans Park which both recently completed new construction efforts.  Pedestrians flock to both of these attractions.  BMSC wants to see more of this forward moving activity along the main street in Buckeye.  The activity is already motivating shop keepers like Sharon Torres of Buckeye Valley News to transform their building facades as well.  The ball is rolling and gaining speed.

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Lara Serbin, photo credit: Sharon Torres, Buckeye Valley News

Torres is currently remodeling the interior of Buckeye Valley News so she can offer Wi Fi, books to read, vintage type writers to play with and a lounge for teens.  The interior smelled of fresh paint from the metal shelving being painted next to turn of the century printing presses.

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Painted super graphics on the outside of Buckeye Valley News could have huge potential for all pedestrians to feel they have just found a special place on their way to meet a friend for lunch.  Torres mentioned how she liked band entertainment in the allies of Denver, Colorado. Sounds like a road trip.  There could be outdoor seating, colorful graphics, green and mutli-purpose zones. The super art above is from Barrio Café in Phoenix, Arizona. The art community have taken over the buildings in Phoenix with murals. I have been there several time to take photos. I like how the artistas have a group signature.  Torres and many other Buckeye stakeholders would like to see rodeo and historic images of Buckeye.  We have to start somewhere and the alley is a good place.

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This is a weeded gap entry to the skeletal remains of the old O’Malley Building.  I have to say I felt fearful standing under the buckling building today and watching the pigeon find a landing place on the trusses.  Boarded up squares are storefront windows facing 4th Street, which is a prominent main street perpendicular to Monroe Avenue. This lot is at the intersection of two infamous Avenues of Buckeye.

Torres has lots of ideas for this desolate lot that she sometimes visits being that it is next door to the Buckeye Valley News.  Torres and I both believe in saving as much as we can of downtown Buckeye.  Every piece of metal panel, rotted wood and peeled paint has value for future use.  Torres would like to see the lot turned into a farmers market.  Her ideas were inspirational to me today.  It is good to have a friend who understands the value of history and the character it can add for future generations.

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Lara Serbin

Lara Serbin

Lara Serbin is the founder of Serbin Studio. She has had continuous involvement in the design and construction industry since 1995, and worked in all phases of project management, programming, design, and construction administration. Lara has particular interest in conceptual design with respect to cost efficiency and energy conservation.

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