In 2016, David Peavy purchased the Ritchie Grocery building on the corner of Front and Olive Streets. Once completed, his vision for the building - to be renamed 1894 City Market - includes a mix of retail, office space, and loft apartments.
1. What drew you to downtown as a place to start a huge project like this?
I used to run the market on State Line behind Naaman's Barbecue. [Main Street Director] Ina McDowell approached me about possibly moving it downtown. When I started looking around at spaces, this building stood out because of its proximity to the Front Street Festival Plaza. It's a landmark building, I think it's probably the most photographed building in Texarkana.
It will be a great anchor to events, to have something else down here that is open to the public.
2. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
Everyone can remember walking through the streets, window shopping, etc. Instead of recreating downtown the way it was, I want to see downtown become a different downtown, a new place, where new memories are being made. Investing in creating a place where that happens is what excites me.
3. Can you tell us something interesting you've found in your building?
We have a case of artifacts on the ground floor, in what will become the gallery space, all of which were found in the attic. There is also writing on the wall in two places done by a man named Tom, his first note is dated 1910 and the second 1919.
4. What do you want people to know about your building?
Ritchie Grocery [now 1894 City Market] is ranked #6 on Trip Advisor in Places to See in Texarkana, Arkansas. People come here to take pictures all the time and I encourage people to continue to do so, I think it's great. I hope that it becomes a place that people are even more excited to come to, a true destination in downtown Texarkana.
5. What do you see for downtown's future?
Right now I think that the stars have really aligned for downtown. I used to drive around and notice all the empty buildings, now I'm seeing all of the full buildings. There are definitely still spaces available, but things are falling into place.
Thank you, Mr. Peavy! The building will be open for tours on Saturday, May 13th (and future second Saturdays) in conjunction with its 1894 Second Saturday Trade Days, an open air market for local vendors. You can keep up with them online through Facebook @1894 City Market.
The first "Music in the Air" skyscape sculpture was unveiled last month during the Scott Joplin Centennial Celebration. The sculpture, which was partially funded with a donation from Union Pacific, was designed by students at Texarkana College and lit by Artex Electric. It sits atop the Lindsey Railroad Museum.
(pictured below with Dr. Beverly Rowe)
The Skyscape Project is seeking donors to fund additional sculptures like this one!
SKYSCAPE - $5000+
Name the artwork (may use company name, logo, or personal name), name on plaque, flyers & posters, will be cited in ads & press releases
MUSIC IN THE AIR - $2500+
Name the artwork (may use company name, logo, or personal name), name on plaque, flyers & posters, ads & press releases
ENTERTAINER - $1000+
Company or personal name on plaque, flyers & posters, ads & press releases
MAPLE LEAF - $500+
Company or personal name on plaque, flyers & posters, ads
FRIENDS OF MUSIC - $100+
Company or personal name on plaque, flyers & posters
FRIENDS OF DOWNTOWN - up to $99
Recognition online as a thank you
Ready to donate? Mail a check, money order, or call with credit card information.
Main Street Texarkana (attn: Skyscape Project)
PO Box 631
Texarkana, TX 75504
*all funds over the stated budget amount for the first sculpture will be applied to the next work of art created and its plaque, flyers/posters, ads and press releases.
1. How long have you been in Texarkana and what drew you to downtown as a place to open your business?
The gallery has been open here on Broad Street for close to 3 years. I've been in Texarkana for almost 70 years. I retired as an art teacher and have always tried to stay involved with the community, through TRAHC and other ways. Being an artist has always come secondary to teaching. I knew I wasn't ready to just sit in a rocking chair, so when this building came available it was just a dream, and I partnered with four other people and we opened the space.
The history down here and the connection that you feel to that history and to the people, that's what I love about being downtown.
2. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
As a teenager, I remember coming downtown to have cream horns at City Bakery, then we would go for cherry Cokes at Simmons Drugstore and go see a movie, that was our entertainment and it was so much fun, walking around.
3. Can you tell us something interesting about your building?
From what I understand, the original brick here was handmade and layed out to dry on Broad Street. It's amazing to think of the labor that went into these buildings, everything done manually - carried and moved without the machinery we have today. The fact that these buildings are still standing, all the people who have walked through them, I love that connection to history.
4. What do you want people to know about your business?
In addition to displaying and selling art from local artists, we also offer classes & workshops. We have hosted private parties and we can do small group classes, like a ladies night out. We're very community-minded, we work with local nonprofits, we want to give back to the community as much as we can.
5. What would you like to see downtown in the future?
I would like it to really become a hub for artists of all kinds, we are in the Arts & Historic District. Also to see more specialty shops come back and just see all of the empty buildings utilized.
All of our neighbor shops - Knock on Wood, Verona Italian Restaurant, the Phelps' at Logan Electric, are just great - we are a community down here. It's a great place to be.
Thank you, Ms. Hubnik! Downtown Gallery and Studio 218 sells original artwork from local artists and also offers classes and workshops at 218 E. Broad St, phone # 903.826.3219. You can keep up with them online through Facebook @Studio218-DowntownGallery.
The City of Texarkana, Texas, has just announced approval has been given to the final piece of the funding puzzle to allow the Hotel Grim project to get started. See the City's press release. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of this year.
This month we sat down with Mr. Kirk Blair, General Manager of the Texarkana Gazette. The Gazette recently moved it's administrative and editorial staff from Pine Street to the Landmark Building on Broad Street. The paper has been in downtown Texarkana since its inception.
1. How long have you worked in downtown Texarkana?
I have worked downtown for the Gazette for 35 years. I'm from Texarkana, though, and both of my parents owned businesses downtown, one on Broad Street and one on Third Street. As a boy I was down here every day after school, so I have almost 60 years of history with downtown.
2. When the Gazette was looking for a new office to move into, were there ever any locations on the table that weren't downtown?
Yes, we looked at several properties that weren't downtown. One factor for us was the traffic that we have each day, we have over 90 employees and over 100 newspaper carriers that come each night to get the papers to distribute, plus people from the community come in to place classified ads, drop off church bulletin news, etc. We wanted to remain where they could easily get to us. And while we don't have to be near our production facility, it is nice to be close. We feel optimistic about the new businesses opening or moving downtown and the Texarkana Gazette is looking forward to continuing to be a part of that downtown growth.
3. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
As a boy I loved to fish. My favorite place to go was Timberlake Hardware, which used to be on Main Street, to buy fishing tackle. The owner, James Timberlake, knew me and I could walk around downtown, as an 11 or 12-year old, and visit different places. We all knew each other, there was a real sense of community downtown at that time.
4. Can you tell us anything interesting you've found in your building?
Well, the old building that still houses our production equipment, on Pine Street, used to be a Studebaker dealership years ago. Upstairs, you can still see mens' names painted on the walls where the mechanics for the dealership had their lockers.
5. What do you want people to know about your business?
Newspapers are alive and doing well. We're reinventing ourselves and instead of just delivering the print paper everyone thinks of, we deliver the news to tablets, mobile devices and desktop computers as well. We have more readers now than ever. We're the only business that I know of that creates a new product, and gets it out, on a daily basis.
Thank you, Mr. Blair! You can keep up with the Gazette online through their website TexarkanaGazette.com or by following them on Facebook @TexarkanaGazette and Instagram @texarkana_gazette.
Dine on the Line 2016 was a huge success and we have the photos to prove it. Check out the 2016 Dine on the Line photo gallery here! (Also note, there are more photos to come, so check back as we continue to add photos)
I ran across this article talking about how many second tier cities are looking for opportunity not by mimicking others, but finding what makes them special and authentic. I think Texarkana needs to take the same focus. Let's find our core strengths, and build upon those. Let's focus on the experience of Texarkana and try everything we can to make it positive for everyone who calls it home. We have an opportunity to make Texarkana anything we want it to be, let's have authenticity be a driving principal.
Click the image below to read the article.
Read on for answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions we are getting about Dine on the Line 2016, happening this Saturday, October 1st!