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Phillip Tutor: Gadsden’s lesson for downtown Anniston

Old Gadsden

Taken in October 1983, this image of downtown Gadsden represents what many longtime residents remember before a lengthy process of economic and aesthetic improvement turned the district into a popular place to work and socialize. (Original photo by Eddie Motes / The Anniston Star)

GADSDEN — At one point, Kay Moore recalls, Gadsden’s downtown was in awful shape, an embarrassing shell of what it once was. She grew up in Gadsden. She worked 30 years downtown. And “I watched (it) almost disintegrate,” she said. “It was almost a ghost town.”

Then there’s Steve Means, who Gadsden voters elected seven times — Seven times! — as their mayor.

Phillip Tutor — — is a Star columnist. Follow him at