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Laurene Weste: New streetscape enlivens Old Town Newhall

Live from City Hall

Posted: August 13, 2009 9:27 p.m.
Updated: August 14, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
The city of Santa Clarita is getting ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome the community to celebrate the completion of Phase One of the Old Town Newhall streetscape project.

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting event will commence on Sept. 3 at 5 p.m., as part of the weekly Farmer's Market event at the intersection of Market Street and Main Street in Old Town Newhall.

Everyone is invited to attend the grand opening event and help celebrate the first phase of the project's completion.

The first phase of the Old Town Newhall streetscape project includes major improvements on two blocks of Main Street, from 6th Street to 8th Street.

Sidewalk pavers, hardscape and tree planting are completed, as well as the installation of landscaping and street furniture.

The construction in Old Town Newhall is part of the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan, which is designed to help transform downtown Newhall into a thriving, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented urban village with a series of economic engines.

"Streetscaping" is best described as a beautification project that includes pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, streetlighting, street furniture and landscaping.

To support the landscaping portion of the project, it was also necessary to replace and improve the water and drainage system that supports the area.

The streetscape project helps to transform the look and feel of Old Town Newhall as it burgeons into an exciting arts and entertainment district.

Meandering down Main Street, visitors will enjoy beautiful new oaks, sycamores and mesquite trees and drought-friendly shrubs that now line the newly paved streets.

New and widened sidewalks and crosswalks are comprised of a mixture of brick and boardwalk and feature wooden lodge poles, capturing the spirit of the old west that is integral to the area.

New street lamps reminiscent of old gas lamps adorn light poles along Main Street, helping to create a unique ambience for the area.

An added treat to a stroll along Main Street in Old Town Newhall is the Walk of Western Stars, featuring bronze and terrazzo tile plaques in the center of the sidewalk, celebrating western film greats like John Wayne, Gene Autry, Sam Elliot, Linda Gray, Bruce Dern and Roy Rogers, to name a few. Find out more about the Walk of Western Stars at www.santa-clarita.com/cityhall/parks/westernstars.asp.

Santa Clarita has long been committed to the revitalization of the Old Town Newhall area.

Along with the streetscape, the city is moving forward with future plans for a new and larger library facility right in the heart of Old Town Newhall.

Several special events are held in Old Town Newhall each year including the 4th of July parade, the upcoming Festival of the Arts Oct. 3-4, and some very special Halloween fun (check out Seasons magazine online for details at www.santa-clarita.com/cityhall/parks/seasons/index.asp).

The city donated unused bricks and other items from the public right-of-way in Old Town Newhall to the SCV Historical Society for use in Heritage Junction, located in Hart Park, to prevent building materials from going to waste and practicing the environmentally conscious attitude for which Santa Clarita is known.

For more information on the Old Town Newhall streetscape project, or next steps, contact Alex Hernandez, redevelopment analyst, at (661) 286-4030 or ahernandez@santa-clarita.com.

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Councilwoman. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Live from City Hall" runs Fridays in The Signal and is provided by the city of Santa Clarita.

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