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New Joplin Historic Preservation Plan Could Bring Changes To Dow - KOAM TV 7

New Joplin Historic Preservation Plan Could Bring Changes To Downtown

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Carmen's Apples & Edible Arrangements Carmen's Apples & Edible Arrangements
Joplin's original main street Joplin's original main street
Joplin, MO -

Some important economic changes could be coming to Joplin because of a new historic preservation plan.  Joplin's city council is meeting tonight to discuss the draft of this preservation plan.  The city's last preservation plan was done in 1990.  But historic preservation officials in Joplin say a post-tornado Joplin needs some guidance of how to best unify and grow the city.

This plan aims at connecting the past to the future.

Kimberly Nally owns Carmen's Apples and Edible Arrangements in downtown Joplin.  At the base of what she sells is ordinary food.

"I think the downtown should be more than what it is...", Says Nally.

But Nally takes that food and makes it even better.

"I think a lot of the {people from} smaller communities come here because we have a mall and we have all the restaurants.  So I think our downtown could definitely be spruced-up," says Nally.

The City of Joplin's newest historic preservation plan draft is extensive, at more than 90 pages, and broad, with recommendations of how to make Joplin more enjoyable to residents and better appealing to visitors.

The plan calls for making Rangeline Road, Joplin's retail hub, more appealing with an abundance of street trees, and more colorful, creative signs.

But the plan also says Joplin should take better care of its past.

Wendy Brunner-Lewis with Joplin's Historic Preservation Commission says, "We've all been to cities in other parts of the country and it's like, wow, that's the coolest downtown ever!"

"It started out because of historic features of that downtown.  And then it just kept going and snowballing and it just became a great art community, or a great hip culture," says Brunner-Lewis.

The preservation plan calls for city officials working directly with historic building owners to not only identify renovation challenges, but also to better communicate available grant money.

"Just incentives for small business owners, too," says Nally.  "Because being a small business owner, taxes hit you hard, competition with the bigger businesses hit you hard."

People may not know, or care, that Joplin's original main street was on Broadway.  

"You may not be a history buff," says Brunner-Lewis.

But Brunner-Lewis and Nally both say all it takes is revitalizing pieces of history that are still in the present to make the future more attractive.

The report also suggests that Joplin neighborhoods have more identity and organize events.

This draft was done by Heritage Strategies, LLC, and funded by the Missouri State Historic Preservation office.  The entire draft can be found here.  Joplin's city manager hopes a new historic preservation plan is approved by city council before the end of this month.

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