Urban Renewal

This year has seen the culmination of several new and exciting urban projects in the Cultural Arts District of Fresno. Also known as the mural district, the area has a long history of the arts dating to the city’s founding.

Marin Froelich was raised in the district until she left for college in San Francisco about 1885; Maynard Dixon known as the painter of the American West, was born and raised in the district (1865) and went on to become an iconic painter of the west.

While the city grew beyond the area, time ravaged the district and it fell into a typical urban cycle. As recent as two years ago the area was one of warehouses, abandoned buildings and general decay. Just as most unwanted areas the world over, artists began moving in for the cheap rent and availability of large spaces to use as their studios.

Along came artist/developer Reza Assemi with a vision to link these locations together with murals…followed by the idea to intentionally provide housing for more artists and support businesses. Two years later, those visions are coming to fruition:

·Pearl building, first to be converted to live/work space

·Econo Lodge mural

·Arte America’s expansion & outdoor plaza

·Vagabond & Iron Bird Lofts, first residential construction in 25yrs.

·Broadway Studio murals

·Tokyo Garden Mural

·Broadway Lofts, recently filled with 22 art/live spaces

·Mayflower Hotel, under conversion

·Fulton Village, more exciting new residential space

·GVUrban several more residential projects around the downtown

·Revive Café & Whole Farms Market

·Urban Salvage, one man’s trash is another’s treasure

· Numerous murals inside and out at both Iron Bird & Vagabond Lofts

Additionally, the historic L St. has seen some action with the abandoned Towne Apartments newly restored by a local church, to be used as a resource center for urban studies & outreach. Thousands of man-hours and over $100,000 were invested to restore the 1902 historic property.

It has been a joy to watch these projects develop and now see the area renewing with life. About Town Taste walking adventures explores the neighborhood on its Art of Graffiti adventure 6/10 Friday evening 6p or 6/11 Saturday morning 10a

We go inside some of these historic buildings, traipse through the area finding the murals and even include food tastes along the way at local eateries, all included for just $25pp. Reservations are necessary via info@AboutTownTaste.com or 559.392.4471

So, put on your walking shoes and join us for a unique look at the city!

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