Alamogordo MainStreet New York Avenue Mural Project Opened to FanFair

Image and has run a recent series of articles and commentaries highlighting the importance of the historical neighborhood of Chihuahuita, once prosperous and the earliest settlement, in the city proper, of Alamogordo.

Over the years (excepting for New York Avenue from 10th Street to 7th Street) the neighborhood failed to garner the investment of all other Alamogordo neighborhoods. That history is dated to its founding. Some early leaders considered it the barrio of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Due to decades of neglect, and lacking infrastructure, many houses and the business district of New York Avenue continued to age and deteriorate without much effort to revitalize.

But as reported in other recent stories, the momentum is now building on a revival of the Chihuahuita neighborhood. From new sidewalks and parks, and now the alleyways of the New York Avenue business district, a revival effort is showing a shovel ready effort.

This most recent effort is led with grants garnered from a commitment by Alamogordo MainStreet, and thanks to passionate business leaders, hands on political leadership and community volunteers. Saturday marked a ribbon cutting and a celebration of part of the many projects moving forward.

A large crowd turned out Saturday for the Ribbon Cutting of the New York Avenue Side Street alley way improvement project.

 A collaboration of community of artisans, small business owners of New York Avenue, the Holloman Spouses Organization - HSO, leadership from Alamogordo MainStreet, government leaders such a Commissioner Sharon McDonald, students from Mountain View Middle School, Alamogordo High School, New Mexico State University Alamogordo, nonprofits such as Otero Arts, With Many Friends - Alamogordo, Courtney McCary and friends, and local businesses such as French Brothers, Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company, Pioneer Bank - Alamogordo, Taylor Ojeda Creations, Melinese Boner, the Alamogordo Center of Commerce, Rocky Mountain Cannabis, Zuni Electric Inc, Loco Bank, Home Depot and more worked diligently in advance of the Saturday ribbon cutting to bring murals, a community gardens and a public area to life! 

"I love to see our community come together to create something truly unique and beautiful. So many people came together, worked hard, and pulled resources to create a magical space for our entire community to enjoy,” said  Amanda Jewell, Board Member and community volunteer of Alamogordo MainStreet. 

The pergolas add a unique dimension to this ally way project and the community can thank French Brothers for making them happen. 

"French Brothers was thrilled to partner with Foxworth Galbraith to donate the lumber for three pergolas to the AARP Sidestreet Project. French Brothers Our purpose is to enrich the lives of our people, our customers and our community, and this is one way we were happy to do just that,” said Kevin Jewell, President French Brothers Homes 

What began as a vision of the business owners of New York Avenue, working through Alamogordo MainStreet for the last several years to reimagine the Downtown District; as a center of commerce, history, art and culture; some visible signs of that effort is finally coming to life.

Recently the downtown merchants received a “safety grant” for lighting and cameras for the alley ways. Next was a grant from the AARP Livable Communities and the work began!

AARP Livable Communities grants are issued to community organizations with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion while improving the already built and social environment of a community to create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.

Alamogordo MainStreet was granted $10,000 to kick off the effort. Then individuals and other businesses added to funding and volunteering and a collaborative approach is working toward a better future for New York Avenue.

Saturday many community members came out to the ribbon cutting and since then many more have strolled the allyway to see the improvements. Walking tours are planned to explain the murals and those behind them in the future. As an example Otero Arts competed a mural as a partner in the project.

The mural painted by Otero Arts as part of the MainStreet Side Street project is just a beginning of the partnership between the organizations. Otero Arts is partnered with Alamogordo MainStreet through a state program called Jump Start which is designed to lead Alamogordo to receive a designation as an Arts and Cultural District. Thus,  this is the first of many components of that effort: The mural by Otero Arts was painted by the members: Janet Amtmann, Pennie Espiritu, Paige Young and Ann Beacht. 

The MainStreet Side Street Project is still continuing and will evolve to include the alley on the opposite side of the street in the near future. Congratulations to Alamogordo MainStreet and the merchants for the ribbon cutting and success of phase one. The community is eager to see the transformation of New York Avenue continue. 

And to our readers don’t forget Christmas on Mainstreet is coming up this Saturday December 2nd, 2023 at 4 pm. Check out the stores, music, dancers, and more! 

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