A mural is painted on the side of the Edward Jones building in downtown Seymour. Submitted photo
A mural is painted on the side of the Edward Jones building in downtown Seymour. Submitted photo
Seymour Main Street recently released a request for proposals for a comprehensive downtown streetscape master plan to get ideas on how to beautify downtown Seymour.

Bri Roll, executive director of Seymour Main Street, said in a news release that the organization is accepting proposals until June 1 from qualified consulting firms.

“Although Seymour’s downtown has experienced positive momentum in the last 10 years, Seymour Main Street believes a comprehensive master plan is critical to taking Seymour to the next level,” she said. “It gives downtown a brand and creates an attractive and inviting gathering place for its residents.”

Four project goals have been outlined.

The first goal is to develop a plan that assists businesses, residents and property owners in making decisions about future improvements and find funding for the downtown based on the established vision.

A second goal is to develop a plan that is a bold, visionary proposal for the downtown.

Roll said this includes integrating current and unique features such as the many green spaces recently developed to engaging a feeling of rediscovery of community assets and elements that are unique to Seymour. This can include creating a brand for Seymour, she said.

Next, Seymour Main Street has the goal of fostering a positive relationship between neighborhood residents, businesses and city and county government, all while expanding the downtown vision to include the entry and gateways into the organization’s boundaries.

The organization’s final goal is to enhance walkability, create a consistent and inviting streetscape character, strengthen economic vitality, provide outdoor space for dining and business, improve bike infrastructure, make more pedestrian and alternative transportation friendly and assure safe, clearly identified consistent parking options.

Recent projects to enhance downtown Seymour include the addition of metal railroad-themed bench seating and a successful collaboration with the city and Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to complete the revitalization of the green space area adjacent to the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, now named Burkhart Plaza.

In 2017, Seymour Main Street partnered with the city and the Seymour Redevelopment Commission to revitalize a rundown lot near the intersection of Tipton Street and the Louisville and Indiana Railroad line.

The result was a public park offering greenspace, a covered amphitheater, airconditioned restrooms, a walking path and an outdoor gym.

There have been three murals painted on brick buildings in the past four years: One depicting singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, a second with word the word “Seymour” with locally influential images filling the outline of the letters and a collage of memorable vintage signs that give a nod to former downtown merchants and businesses as well as the city’s rich history.

The Mellencamp family also supported an effort to create greenspace and seating adjacent to the John Mellencamp mural. This plaza was instantly a destination and gathering place for fans of the artist and for downtown patrons of all ages.

“It has certainly been a welcomed attraction to our downtown and brings visitors from all over the country just to see the larger-than-life depiction of the small town pop singer,” Roll said.

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