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September 30, 2014

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Build a block Downtown: the fantasy and reality

Image

Steve Marcus

A view of the former Place Gallery, 1045 S. Main Street, where Build a Greener Block will take place.

The Details

Build a Greener Block
April 28-29, 10 a.m.-midnight. 1042 S. Main Street
Greener Blocks

Come April 28, a mostly abandoned stretch of Downtown’s Main Street will be transformed into what organizers tout as a “living community.” There’ll be a temporary restaurant, a boutique, a cafe, a dog park, entertainment, classes, children’s activities and local farmers selling vegetables, all wrapped in a message of sustainability.

The two-day pop-up urban environment, known as Build a Greener Block, was inspired by Better Block Rapid Urban Revitalization Projects and designed to show how a community can come together to change its neighborhoods.

It’s a good sentiment and something Downtowners already know plenty about, given their efforts in the Arts District over the years. Bringing the community together for neighborhood change is a well-traveled road in these parts. Trying to create a vibrant space has come with many triumphs and hurdles. It has been burdened by the kind of setbacks (such as the 2010 transformer explosion) that result in a need for nonprofit efforts demonstrating the collective fantasy of those who have ever imagined what a bustling Main Street Las Vegas might look like.

Fortunately, Downtown doesn’t give up, and Main Street is once again popping up new businesses to go with the restaurants and galleries anchoring the area. Retro Vegas has a new home; and Patina Decor opened this month in the old space next to Skin City Body Painting. Medusa’s Antiques & Collectibles recently opened across the street from Clay Arts Vegas in the old Art Bar. Throw in Cowtown Guitars, Electric Lemonade thrift shop and the under-construction Art Square and you have the next wave of an all-out, organic community effort that will continue well after the weekend

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