Transitioning Route One with Performing Arts?
Hyattsville residents support performing arts facility for the Arcade building on Gallatin Street.
Dancing, live music, classrooms, conferences, a cable TV studio, art space, community meeting space, a museum and visitor's center – these are among possible uses for 4318 Gallatin St. discussed at a community meeting held Dec. 8 at Hyattsville City Hall.
Hosted by the city, the Hyattsville Planning Committee and the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, residents were treated to a presentation about this building now being called The Arcade. (Previously, it had been called the "mustard" building or sometimes just "4318.")
The Arcade building was donated to the city some years ago and over the past few years, various improvements have been made to stabilize it. Some history is provided on the city's website.
Hyattsville CDC Executive Director Stuart Eisenberg shared blueprints showing both completed renovations (roof, egress, handicap access, façade, etc.) and conceptual plans for space utilization. More information is available on the CDC website.
The multipurpose room in City Hall was filled with city staff, Mayor William Gardiner, several City Council members and a number of Hyattsville residents – representing a nice slice of what this correspondent considers to be Hyattsville's Arts Brain Trust.
Presumably this was the first of what will be other opportunities for community input. Attendees were left with the impression that the next steps will involve official actions by Gardiner and the council.
Those of you following this empty nester's columns will recall my interests in live music and dancing. I am also a patron of local theater and art galleries, and I'm actively involved in community media, particularly cable access television.
As Route 1 is transforming; we see the possibilities for the Arcade building to function as a premier destination in the Price George's County Gateway Arts District. A lively arts presence adjacent to the Route 1 corridor would help support and spur local economic development efforts by bringing more people to local restaurants and businesses. Time and time again, local government support of art has proven to be just the fuel needed for the redevelopment engine.
While many questions remain regarding funding and operations of the Arcade building, there are some examples of public-private partnerships from which to learn. I hope the City of Hyattsville's elected officials can keep this opportunity from slipping away and can translate the vision into reality.
The hardest steps have already happened. Now is the time to make a community commitment towards making Hyattsville a performing arts destination.