By Joshua Maloni
A bridge movie isn’t always the most popular – or rewarding – chapter in a series’ story. But it’s absolutely necessary and, hopefully, leads to a proper payoff.
For those unfamiliar with this description, a “bridge” movie is one that takes a tale from first introductions to concluding chapter. Think “The Empire Strikes Back.” The second “Star Wars” film revealed more about Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, but it didn’t render any conclusions or closure. The Empire wasn’t defeated, our heroes were scattered, and Han Solo was in carbonite and on his way to Jabba the Hut’s palace. It wasn’t until part three, “Return of the Jedi,” that audiences found resolution.
2018 was a bridge movie in the Village of Lewiston.
Now, while there weren’t any lightsaber fights, there also wasn’t any physical completion. Plans for several of the projects listed below were finalized, but not realized. So, like a really good middle chapter, 2018 should leave fans (residents, in this case) excited for the concluding part.
Thanks to the work of two different administrations – not to mention savvy local retailers, generous restaurateurs, creative businesspeople and vocal residents – the new year, 2019, should see the village’s biggest questions answered, and largest projects completed (or at least on the way).
•The waterfront will be refurbished, with new docks and breakwalls built to withstand future rising tides.
•A next step will be taken to restore the Frontier House. Whether Mayor Anne Welch finds a private buyer, or the current owners keep the property, repairs are expected. The building will almost certainly be in better physical shape 12 months from now.
•765 Fairchild Place will be completed, and residents will move into new, upscale living quarters. The southside apartment complex has been called well-crafted by passersby, and residents seem agreeable to the northside concessions made by developer James Jerge.
•Academy Park will begin a facelift with the brand-new “circle of honor” armed forces monument area. More work could be done to restore comfort stations and add walkways, if Greenway monies become available. Welch and the Recreation/Conservation Board also have plans to add pavilions and possibly a splash pad or ice rink.
•An inclusive Mason’s Mission play area should be installed at Marilyn Toohey Park, behind the Red Brick Municipal building. This family-friendly addition will enable children with special needs to enjoy rides and toys while being more active with their friends.
•The plaza at Center, North Eighth and Onondaga streets is expected to be at least partially built and opened, if not fully operational. Owner Ellicott Development is currently working to find tenants who will add value both to the property and the village, in general.
2018 was a year of hammer and nails, of promise and progress. Because of that, 2019 should be a banner year of completed work – a period of time that will see the next chapter written in the historic village’s story.
Of course, The Sentinel will track each story and offer updates when available.
Have a happy new year, and thank you for reading.