Many good ideas popped up at the Corydon Downtown Revitalization Plan workshop March 3 at the Harrison County Public Library. The forum was sponsored by the Town of Corydon, Main Street Corydon and the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, three organizations that are thinking hard about the future of Corydon and Harrison County as well.
Workshop planners were pleased that so many good suggestions were offered during a seven-hour open house for ideas. About 105 people stopped by at one time or another. The forum was advertised and open to the public.
Some of the more tantalizing ideas:
‘ Corydon becoming a ‘gateway’ community for tourists who want to explore the various attractions in the ‘Southern Indiana highlands.’ (I hadn’t thought about Southern Indiana having ‘highlands’ since the National Geographic did a story on the Southern Indiana ‘uplands’ in the early 1970s.)
‘ The Keller Manufacturing Site along Big Indian Creek could become a huge tourist magnet if it’s converted into a park, cultural museum, antique mall, artist and crafts showcase, restaurants, office space, maybe senior citizen apartments. Imagine what that wonderful spot could be with an amphitheatre tucked into the hillside, overlooking a scenic bend of the river with a wooded hillside in the background, plus a new, expanded performing arts center for the exceedingly popular Corydon Jamboree and Hayswood Theatre.
Several people have their eye on north Corydon as the next big place for change, especially when the YMCA of Harrison County opens this summer a little to the north.
‘ A low-cost loan pool for businesses that want to spruce up, modernize or otherwise improve their buildings. Specific businesses need to be recruited. It’s been suggested that downtown merchants need to get together for some cooperative advertising in Louisville, Evansville and Indianapolis. The merchants also need someone to step up and assume a strong leadership role.
‘ Make Corydon the center for ‘agri-tourism,’ a relatively new kind of tourism that opens up unusual places like farms, vineyards and even rock quarries to city folk who have never seen the like before.
Two consultants, DLZ of Indianapolis and SDG of Bloomington, will consider all the suggestions and create a downtown revitalization plan that will be presented for public consumption in a few weeks. It ought to make very interesting reading.