What Lexington Needs: Fix Festival Market by Georgia Henkel and SCAPA 6th...

What Lexington Needs: Fix Festival Market by Georgia Henkel and SCAPA 6th Graders

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picture of a newspaper clipping for what lexington needs

WHAT LEXINGTON NEEDS, by Georgia Henkel, with help from SCAPA’s sixth grade
Photo by M. Watt

August 1994 Ace

Adults have answers to many problems, but it seems there is a lot of thumb-twiddling and head-scratching when it comes to finding a creative solution to downtown’s “pimple,” Festival Market.

picture of a newspaper clipping for what lexington needsYes, it is a big annoying problem and it’s not going away. But we’d like to make a proposal that would “oxycute” the problem. Our first objective was to find uses for the building that would serve many interests in the community.

The first thing we suggest is putting a Hard Rock Cafe on the first floor. We think this is a good idea for the following reasons: DeSha’s Restaurant, just across the street, is thriving; Hard-Rock t-shirts are collector’s items; and this type of restaurant appeals to the 20- and 30-yeaer old crowd.

There are approximately 34,000 square feet on each floor of Festival Market. An I-MAX theatre would be a perfect solution for the remainder of the first floor as well as part of the second floor. Our society is becoming so high-tech, and I-MAX is a fascinating way to learn about art, science, and other cultures. I-MAX would appeal to all ages and would be a great way to spend time with grandparents.

Every school in Fayette County, public and private, had students participate in field trips to either Louisville’s Natural History Museum (with an I-MAX), the Lexington Children’s Museum, and/or the Living Arts and Science Center last year. The next part of our plan includes an expansion of Lexington Children’s Museum combined with the Living Arts and Science Center. This new “Arts and Science Children’s Museum” would occupy the remainder of the second floor and the entire third floor of Festival Market. Our reasons for combining these programs are that they seem to compete a lot for the same money and participants.

Why compete when a merger would make them both stronger? The Children’s Museum currently occupies 16,000 square feet. This move would more than double that space. We were thinking that hte Living Arts and Science Center could teach the classes and provide an art gallery space just for children, and the Children’s Museum could organize permanent exhibits and hands-on stuff

The current site of the Children’s Museum could become a skateboard park with a half pipe. YO! But that’s another proposal.

While our idea might not be a panacea (that’s our new word), we think that it is a creative way to “oxycute” the blight on downtown while serving the needs of many people in the community.

What Lexington Needs was part of a class project initiated by George Henkel, a teacher at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and some of her sixth grade students.

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