I'm doing some thinking today as I sit on the second floor patio at Sadie's Garden Apartments watching the removal of the pavement as the CRA and the city plan this massive undertaking to make the streets look like a million bucks, starting with Center Avenue running from "The Circle" to the pier. My husband asked me, "But what is there to see once the tourists get to the downtown area, a bunch of old buildings that have no businesses in them?"
I thought about this and it is mostly true. What does downtown have to offer the walking tourists once they get to the downtown area? Then I thought about all the old pictures, some that I have, and a bunch that the Historical Society has, and thought about having the pictures blown up and papered in the windows of the deserted stores, for instance, starting with the old Kahn's Department Store.
The "photo papering" would show what this store use to look like in its heyday with narrative about the history, maybe even a picture of the proprietors who use to run that business.
People could walk around the downtown area and where there is a chronically empty building, the store front would be "photo papered," which would give people an idea of what use to be there, like a walking history lesson, and give them something to think about as they go from one business to another.