To call it a revival might be too much, because Anniston’s downtown isn’t dead. In a city littered with empty houses, the legacy of a longtime population decline, Noble still manages to support bars and shops and, before the pandemic, a series of well-attended parades and street festivals.
The City of Anniston wants to revitalize downtown and make it a destination for families and tourists. The Anniston Star recently visited five cities that successfully have turned their main streets around in recent years with new restaurants, retail shops and museums. What were their secrets of success?
Teamwork. That’s what Kay Moore, director of Downtown Gadsden Incorporated, credits for her city’s thriving central business district.
In Carrollton, City Hall is just two blocks or so from an amphitheater where free movies and concerts are held every weekend. That has to signify something.
The Rome Downtown Development Authority has seven board members and five subcommittees that consist of volunteers including business owners and people that have a vested interest in downtown, Lesley said.
That’s because downtown Columbia was hampered by empty old buildings, much like Anniston, which is hoping to reinvigorate its downtown and could learn some lessons from the self-proclaimed “Dimple of the Universe.”
“Transportation is huge in defining our culture,” said Mary Hammond, executive director of the city Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Paducah's always been an easy sell because of our location and the integrity of our downtown architecture.”