, Muskogee, OK

January 1, 2014

Muskogee’s change starts to become reality

— Muskogee residents must believe change is possible before change can truly occur.

Until recently, we have too often been left with only faith that life here can change.

The first part of the old Hunt’s Building came down last week.

That’s tangible proof that the visioning process of Action in Muskogee can take flight for the betterment of us all.

The Hunt’s Building has long been considered an eyesore for many residents.

Its boarded-up facade was a stark reminder of the vitality that downtown Muskogee once enjoyed.

It has been called a detriment to revitalizing downtown — a reason for potential business owners to seek other areas to expand.

That all changed last week.

Yes, we all knew that many residents considered revitalizing downtown as a major step in improving our city.

But, we never really knew it was possible until the Historic Preservation Commission approved a Certificate of Appropriateness. We never really knew that we could recapture the beauty of downtown before we saw the first board removed from the building.

Knocking down the Hunt’s Building and replacing it with green space will be a major addition to downtown.

It will:

• Immediately improve the look of downtown.

• Gradually improve the property values of the businesses nearby.

• Provide a place to gather for movies, concerts or just a resting point as you walk up and down Broadway when you are shopping.

• Provide a companion piece to the nearby Fourth Street corridor envisioned by AIM.

But mostly it provides each and everyone of us the belief that our faith in change was warranted.