Beautification ProjectsPutting the Pride in Bethlehem, One Project at a Time
Over the past few years, a handful of passionate people have been slowly and methodically working on beautification projects for Main Street Bethlehem. Sometimes in groups, sometimes as individuals. This grassroots movement is driven by a deep love for our community and a desire to return it to the charm and glory history shows it to once possess. Here is a short list of past and current beautification projects.
Started by WREN, the banner project originally showcased hand-painted banners crafted by member artists. Today, the banner program has returned with a more consistent and organized approach. The old banners have been worn down by both time and the elements, and many of the old brackets are disintegrating. While we are doing everything we can to preserve the old banners, the time to start fresh has arrived. This is a current project and we are actively seeking support from community members. Learn more here:
BENCHES & FLOWER BOXES
All of the hand-painted benches that line the streets of Bethlehem during the summer months are owned by the Heritage Society and have been maintained, repaired and hand painted by Bethlehem Village District Commissioner, Dick Robie, with his children and grandchildren. Each of the 20+ benches that line the streets of Bethlehem has been created in memoriam to Bethlehem residents that have passed on, and many of the benches hold plaques honoring our dead. This ongoing project is a quiet labor of love and a true family project, Bethlehem Events Committee is adding three commemorative benches to the roster in 2018.
The Events Committee is also currently working to revitalize the Adopt a Flower Box program that was started many years ago and has fallen to the wayside. Please CONTACT US if you are interested in either placing a commemorative bench for a loved one or in adopting one of the many available Main Street Flower Boxes that are in need of loving care.
In Bethlehem’s heyday, the town pool was a thriving summer hub for locals and tourists alike. Perched atop the bathhouse were two wooden bathing beauties, hand painted by Mr. Ott, who was also responsible for the Barefoot Boys at Baker Brook. Over the years, the bathing beauties disappeared into the ether. When the Pool Committee started rebuilding teh pool, they found one of the beauties tucked under the old Baker Brook restaurant. The other one has never been located, nor has the street sign that rested on the front lawn of Town Hall.
Thanks to a generous materials donation from Lowe’s Littleton and the skills of a small group of local artists, the second bathing beauty was recrafted and made her bathhouse debut in the Summer of 2018. This is an ongoing project, and the next phase will be the recreation of the town pool sign that once adorned the town hall lawn.
LLOYD HILL BUILDING
Saddened by the abandoned look of the old and abandoned Lloyd Hill building, committee members of both the Bethlehem ArtWalk Committee and the Bethlehem Heritage Society collaborated to spruce up the facade of the building until such a time as it may be reused by an incoming business. The corner unit, once the home of the old telephone company, was filled with large images of the Grand Dame hotels that used to line the streets of Bethlehem, and the rest of the windows were hand painted in vibrant colors.
COMMUNITY MURAL PROJECT
In 2014, the Bethlehem ArtWalk Committee generated a community mural project, destined to be installed on the side of the WREN block building. Thanks to the generous donation of materials from Lowe’s Littleton, the kind approval from WREN itself to use space, and countless hours of ArtWalk volunteer time, a 10′ x 15′ mural was hand painted by community members themselves, assembled and installed by volunteers in the dark of night, and a big reveal was held at the 2014 Bethlehem ArtWalk in August.
COLONIAL THEATRE FACADE
In 2010, a small group of local artists was asked to develop a mural concept for the facade of the Colonial Theatre, based on its original facade and with a heavy nod to its Egyptian Revival architecture style. Once the design was approved by the board of directors, painting began and continued throughout the summer of 2010. Each square was handpainted, as well as the sun disk and lotus flower detailing above the marquee.