Main Street Redesign
Downtown: Main Street construction starts in Eagle Square
By MEGAN DOYLE
Monday, October 13, 2014
(Published in print: Monday, October 13, 2014)
From her side of the large window at Salon Envy, owner Paula Blais has a clear view of passers-by tripping over broken bricks in Eagle Square.
And for as many times as she’s been a witness, she’s tripped over those same bricks herself.
So when contractor Severino Trucking Co. ripped up the bricks outside her hair salon this week, Blais didn’t mind at all.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “It’s going to have a fresh look.”
As part of the first phase of the Main Street project, the contractor has begun a long-awaited face-lift in Eagle Square. With only a small window of time this fall to begin working on the downtown redesign, construction started first in the little pocket off North Main Street. During the next two years, City Engineer Ed Roberge said the square could be a refuge from work on the main corridor.
“It’s a great little urban park,” Roberge said. “The reason that we wanted to get it done now, knowing that we’re going to be working on the north end of the project (next year), we wanted people to be able to use the square.”
Roberge said Concord began to plan this renovation in 2013, separate from the Main Street project. But he held off on construction until now, because he wanted to keep the materials consistent throughout downtown. The upgrades to Eagle Square will cost $312,850.
That money will go toward resurfacing the square and fixing up the ornamental tree at its entrance. Roberge called it Dimitri’s Tree, after the artist.
“Over the years, it’s been in disrepair,” Roberge said. “We’re going to strip that down, clean it up and repair it.”
Peter Silvestro, for one, is glad the city isn’t moving the clock tower that also stands at the square’s entrance. The owner of the Eagle Square Deli said he uses the clock tower as a landmark for his customers.
“We’re kind of a hidden jewel in Concord,” he said of the square.
So far, Silvestro had no complaints about the contractor. Patches of the square were torn up outside the deli’s front door, but Severino Trucking left pathways in the brick and painted hot pink “Walk” arrows to direct pedestrians to their destinations.
“All in all, it’s been a less scary event than everyone initially thought,” Silvestro said.
At Salon Envy, Blais said the contractor came in to ask her which days she is normally closed. When she told him she isn’t open Mondays, he said he could replace her walkway then to avoid disrupting her business.
“It’s been very systematic,” Silvestro said.
The renovation at Eagle Square should take another two weeks to complete. For more information about the Main Street project and its schedule, visitconcordmainstreetproject.com.
Cheers to a good cause
The Concord Fire Officers Association and the Concord Professional Firefighters Association will raise money Thursday at Cheers to buy new coats for children in need this winter.
The restaurant and bar will donate 25 percent of its profits from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. to Operation Warm, which will then use the money to purchase the coats for kids in the Concord area.
Mark Hebert, president of the Concord Fire Officers Association, said the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire challenged unions across the state to participate in this fundraiser. In Concord, the idea caught on.
“We’re hoping to raise a bunch of money for new coats for kids,” Hebert said. “It’s distributed through Concord, so it stays local.”
Each new coat will cost $34, and the coats will go to local children ages 3 to 11. Hebert said the associations are hoping to raise as much money as possible for those kids.
“We’re not salesman, we’re just firemen trying to do something that’s right,” Hebert said. “We really want to make this a really, really successful night.”
A Place for imagination
Christa Zuber believes everyone can be creative.
“I think a lot of people think they’re not very creative, and it’s more that they don’t have the opportunity to explore it,” she said.
So she’s opening The Place Studio and Gallery at 9 N. Main St., which will have a grand opening this Friday evening. The studio will focus on “do-it-yourself crafts,” Zuber said. She’ll have materials for ceramic painting, acrylic painting on canvas and decoupage.
“Everyone could use a little more creativity in their lives,” Zuber said.
The studio will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The grand opening event will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.
For more information, visit the studio’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ThePlaceConcord.
An afternoon for apples
Think you’ve got the best apple pie in town? See if the pastry chefs at the Concord Food Co-op agree.
From 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, the co-op will host an apple afternoon with a pie contest and free samples of apple products.
“It’s a fun way to get the community into the co-op and showing off their pies,” said Jaimie Jusczyk, the co-op’s digital marketing specialist.
Members and non-members alike can enter the pie contest for $5, and the top three bakers will win up to $100 in co-op gift cards.
“The only rule for this is that they need to have the main filing of the pie be apple,” Jusczyk said.
Once the judges have picked a winner, slices of the pies will be on sale for guests. The co-op will also be serving free samples of hard cider from Farnum Hill Ciders, hot spiced ciders and over 20 varieties of apples.
All proceeds from the contest will go to the Friendly Kitchen. For more information, visitconcordfoodcoop.coop/apples.
Digging into the Concord market
Stone Environmental has opened a Concord office in suite 206 at 18 N. Main St.
The new office will expand the engineering firm’s footprint in New England and “address a growing workload of projects involving investigation and remediation of contaminated sites,” according to a press release.
“We are excited to be growing as a company and expanding into New Hampshire,” said Seth Pitkin, vice president and group officer at Stone.
For more information about the company and its staff in Concord, visit stone-env.com or call senior project manager Bette Nowack at 273-9250.
In fourteen hundred ninety-two…
Columbus sailed the ocean blue. So today, city offices and the Concord Public Library will be closed for the Columbus Day holiday.
Trash and recycling pickup, however, will not be affected.
(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321, or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)
SOURCE: Concord Monitor