Last Monday, April 14, the LSC Gallery was buzzing from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with the elite of Huntsville, conversation and over 100 historical and recreated photographs. The presentation “University Corridor: Past, Present and Future” was hosted jointly by The Political Science Junior Fellows as well as Huntsville Main Street.
“We have a couple things going on: an art exhibit which celebrates Huntsville’s history, Sam Houston’s history, the present day and the future. We’ve done that by combing through thousands of old photographs, historically or photographically interesting” Mike Yawn, Political Science Junior Fellows advisor and event organizer, said.
“It’s the University Avenue Corridor project – it’s a visionary type show that shows what University Avenue was, is today, and could be tomorrow,” Harold Hutcheson, Main Street Program manager said.
The presentation was put together with the aid of the Walker County Treasure’s collection of over 900 photographs, plus restaged imitations commissioned by local photographers. It was arranged across the walls representing University Avenue, showing the progression down the street through the ages.
The biggest source for pictures used in the presentation was Walker County Treasures, an effort a few years ago to digitalize and preserve historical photographs. The collection can be accessed online through the Walker County website, or huntsvillemainstreet.com site, according to Hutcheson.
The crowd was a mixture of figures from Sam Houston students, Political Science Junior Fellows, Huntsville citizens, and 8 out of the 9 mayors of Huntsville from 1968. The Junior Fellows in particular gained a unique experience through the project by helping to research the history of Huntsville.
“We were able to look at five different architectural styles.. it was great to learn more about the buildings in Huntsville and some of the buildings that got lost during fires and were rebuilt,” Junior Fellow Blake Roach said.
“One of the most interesting things I encountered was the Sam Houston memorial museum, originally built in the 1930’s,” Roach said. “The museum that you see now has two sides to it. We were able to go to the photo shoot and get on top of the dome. and take a couple of pictures. I think that was one of the most interesting things.”
The project also incorporated future projections and hopes for University Avenue. The 2007 Horizon Plan’s results indicated a big concern in Huntsville residents is University Avenue brought back to it’s former glory, according to Hutcheson.
“The end vision is that University Avenue could become really a beautiful corridor between the campus and here- well lit, nice sidewalks, bike trails…period lighting that we use in downtown. It could be very safe and very bright,” Hutcheson said.