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Blank wall
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Simple sign

A bare wall was exposed in 2011 when the old homeless shelter was demolished between Sixth and Fifth streets on Jeffers St.

The stained and weathered bare wall is the most obvious thing about downtown North Platte for southbound U.S. 83 travelers as they cross the Jeffers St. overpass.

It creates a dismal contrast with the relatively new historic clock on the corner of Sixth and Jeffers, donated by North Platte Rotarians.

The wall was exposed in August 2011 after the demolition. Plans got underway to transform the lot into a mini-park of some kind, with a tribute to North Platte’s “Old Editor” Keith Blackledge.

But the much-discussed renovation of the vacant lot is stalled, even though about $8,500 has been raised, said Eric Seacrest of the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation.

The wall was damaged during the demolition. Alan Hirshfeld, one of the owners of the building, said he is still trying to recover damages from the demolition and is reluctant to proceed.

City Administrator Jim Hawks told the Bulletin he hopes to put together a plan to renovate the lot within a month or so.

The wall would be better if it were cleaned and a simple sign pointed to “Downtown” east toward the shops, offices and the playhouse on the brick streets.

Meanwhile, it is an eyesore. It earns a “thumbs down” from the Bulletin.

On the other hand, nearby, a simple lettered "Art Gallery" sign on a brick wall tells motorists where the Art and Gift Gallery is located.

The simple, functional sign was inexpensive, utilizing materials at hand, but fulfilled an important role.

It earns a “thumbs up.”

Send suggestions for scenes around town that deserve a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” to george@northplattebulletin.com.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/11/2013
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