Why is Harmony Place important to downtown Brattleboro?

  • Successful downtowns benefit from and strive to achieve a strong sense of place.  According to The National Main Street Center’s Enhancing Downtown’s Sense of Place, “the availability of places to sit and the presence of others are two essential requirements.  The longer people choose to stay downtown, the more establishments they will visit, thereby providing economic benefit.”
  • Economic development consultant by John Karras’ Vibrant Downtown Strategy #2 (of 12) is to establish a regularly occurring public event that showcases downtown merchants, music, and food.  Strategy #10 is to create a branded downtown entertainment district. The vision for Harmony Place has always included becoming a social hub, a gateway to downtown businesses, and an event space.  An ongoing calendar of arts and agriculture markets, festivals, and performances is in the works, greeted with enthusiasm by our community artists, crafters, farmers, and musicians.
  • For the record, Vibrant Downtown Strategy #7 states: Open a downtown satellite campus of a local university. Done!
  • Harmony Place is an important connector between the northern and southern ends of town.  Over ten days in December 2015, a pedestrian counter revealed that more than 5000 people walked through the tunnel during that period, with 74% of them traveling south, toward the commercial district.  Once Harmony Place is active and attractive, Harmony Place will become a significant gateway to commerce.
  • Harmony Place will remove blight.  Demolition of the derelict former Frankie’s Pizza building will be the first step toward reclaiming this area for the downtown.  A forgotten area of pavement and concrete will be transformed into a shaded escape with raised bed landscaping, seating, permeable surfaces, a built in stage, artistic lighting and other distinctive design elements.
  • Brattleboro will benefit from a beautiful new downtown amenity, enhancing Brattleboro’s already impressive status as a town worth exploring.  By creating an attractive and comfortable in-town outdoor experience, Harmony Place will also become a destination in its own right.