Pinckneyville Downtown Revitalization Project
In short: the Downtown Revitalization Project involves constructing a second City Park on two properties the Foundation has purchased. This project has stimulated the construction of the first new building on the square in decades and is a key component of the potential rerouting of Illinois Route 127 to relieve traffic congestion.
The Foundation for Pinckneyville will be working on this Downtown Revitalization Project for as long as it takes so your patience is appreciated! Great things take time.
How did this little garden project come so far?
The longer story:
One of the projects funded by the 2016 Masquerade Party was to establish a community garden and landscaped green space north of the Perry County Courthouse on the lot where the Opera House and Antique Mall stood before they were tragically lost in a fire. Originally, plans included raised vegetable and flower beds, fruit trees, a stage/gazebo area, pathways, and more. While still in the planning stages, we realized this was the time to make a bold move making the project much larger.
With funds generously donated by The Engelhardt Family Foundation, The Foundation for Pinckneyville purchased the old McDaniel’s Furniture building in June of 2017 with the intention of creating additional green space. Foundation President (at the time), Dustin Foutch, said, “The mission of the Foundation for the Future of Pinckneyville is to make the city more appealing and to encourage growth. Right now, the downtown – which is filled with abandoned buildings – doesn’t do that.”
A structural engineer said the building would have to be condemned and any improvements to the building would be cost prohibitive. After demolishing the McDaniel’s Furniture building, this new lot will allow the project to expand to include a beautifully landscaped area on both sides of the road framing the entrance to the square. “This project will have a dual purpose,” said Foutch, “It will help to improve the image of downtown Pinckneyville and will provide a functional space for the community to use. The goal of this endeavor is for the advancement and enjoyment of the whole community.”
In the fall of 2017, landscaping began on the old McDaniel's lot but, again, plans were interrupted for the greater good of the city of Pinckneyville. A local business wanted to purchase part of the land on which to construct a brand new building. The most western section of the McDaniel's lot is being developed by CMR Management. This is the first new building to be built on the courthouse square in decades.
Another factor came to the attention of the Foundation for Pinckneyville Board in December 2017. The Illinois Department of Transportation is now planning to use part of this property to reroute Illinois Highway Route 127 so that it will no longer be one-way around the courthouse. As soon as we have viable information on this matter to share with the public we will do so. The Foundation for Pinckneyville will be working on this Downtown Revitalization Project for as long as it takes so your patience is appreciated!
Top: The old McDaniel Furniture building as of June 2017. The building on the east end was once a Post Office.
Bottom: The empty lot where the Kunz Opera House and antique mall burned down in June of 2011.
More pictures of the project coming soon