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Route 66 News

Kingman building ‘welcome arch’ to its downtown

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Kingman, Arizona, is building a “welcome arch” across its downtown Beale Street, according to the Kingman Daily Miner.

The arch would be installed as part of Kingman’s participation as a quarterfinalist in the America’s Best Communities contest in which $10 million is at stake, city manager John Dougherty said.

Dougherty said the ABC team, which is helping to develop strategies to spur economic development as part of the contest, is working with Doug Adams of Nucor Steel.

Adams in turn is looking into the costs of having Nucor do the design and fabrication work for the arch and Dougherty will met with the city’s engineering, public works, development services, parks and risk management departments to discuss what would be required if the Council green-lights the project.

“Only speaking for myself, I think it would be very welcoming for visitors coming off the highway and encourage people to visit our downtown entertainment district,” said Dougherty in his message in the agenda.

The city council gave informal approval to the project Thursday, and the proposal drew applause from the audience. A final design for the arch hasn’t been presented, but a councilwoman suggested it should have a Route 66 theme.

Kingman already was awarded $35,000 from the contest, and may be in line for up to $100,000.

Although it has a way to go, downtown Kingman has seen an uptick in economic activity with its historic buildings in recent years. A well-designed welcome arch certainly would add to the district’s attractiveness.

Several Route 66 towns feature similar welcome arches across Route 66, including Williams, Arizona (pictured above); Miami, Oklahoma; Albuquerque; and probably some others I’m forgetting. Many more welcome arches in the U.S. may be seen here. Welcome arches were all the rage in many towns across America during the first half of the 20th century, but many have disappeared. It’s good to see them start to make a small comeback.

(Image of the welcome arch on Route 66 in Williams, Arizona, by Chao Yen via Flickr)

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