GREENFIELD — Patrons walking through the city’s new North Street Living Alley, running from North Street to the parking lot of the Lincoln Square Pancake House, can’t help but notice three pieces of artwork near one of the brick walls on the north end of the alley.
Greg Livengood, 55, is an artist, craftsman and welder who was asked by city officials to create some outdoor music art to liven up the North Street Living Alley area.
The Greenfield resident turned old propane tanks into real musical instruments creating two drums and a xylophone, instruments patrons can actually play when they visit the new community area.
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“They’re totally different from anything I’ve ever made before,” Livengood said.
The project is part of the downtown revitalization plan officials with the city of Greenfield have put into action after being awarded a state grant to transform the downtown alley area into a place for festivals, gatherings and more.
Greenfield was among 11 Hoosier cities to receive grant monies for community improvement projects.
The $44,000 grant, joined with local dollars, helped create the North Street Living Alley, which will have gardens to go along with festival lighting to the alley on North Street, just west of State Street.
The Greenfield Coalition and City officials applied for a Place Based Investment Fund grant offered by the Indiana Office of Tourism and the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, city officials said.
They then supplemented the funds with a $5,500 grant from the Hancock Community Foundation to install the locally made musical instruments.
The idea is to create usable public spaces, the kind to draw interest and inspire people to gather and socialize in the historic downtown area, Joanie Fitzwater, city planning director said.
A lifelong craftsman, Livengood got the idea on how to make the outdoor instruments after seeing a few constructed on social media and thought he could tackle the project, he said.
Just one day after installing the instruments, he was thrilled to see people stopping by to check them out.
“They were hanging around them playing the drums and the xylophone,” Livengood said with a smile.
Arts Coalition members spent a fair amount of time trying to come up with the best types of art design ideas for the area, knowing they needed to be works of art people would enjoy while being out, having a good time, coalition member Ellen Kuker said.
“We wanted to get some interactive, fun, whimsical things installed and we did that,” Kuker said.
City officials plan to install more art work in the alley way in the form of art banners created by local artist Chris Sickle, string lights, trellises and landscaping.
They’re hoping to have the project completed by the end of the month and hold a ribbon cutting ceremony in the near future, Fitzwater said.
The North Street Living Alley project is the first of the Greenfield Coalition, a community group that formed to make the city’s downtown revitalization plan a reality.