McRae Carmichael joined us today to talk about living in historic surroundings. McRae, whose background is in urban planning and sustainability, is a member of the Salem Historic Landmarks Commission and lives in the Fairmount Hill neighborhood, an area of many historic homes just south of the Downtown Historic District. A few years ago, several Fairmount neighbors approached the HLC requesting help in establishing their neighborhood as a National Register Historic District. Unfortunately, this grass-roots effort ultimately failed when they were unable to garner support of the potential district from the required majority of the neighborhood's property owners. McRae noted that she was not a member of the HLC at that time, and her home would have been just outside the proposed boundaries based on the early development plats, but she would have welcomed the designation.
McRae is also a part of the committee working with the City's Neighborhood Enhancement Division to plan more events in the downtown core that are pedestrian and bicycle friendly and therefore promote more person-to-person interaction. The program, known as Salem Sunday Streets, is in its third year and is scheduled for Sunday, August 30, 2015. The streets in the eastern portion of the Downtown Historic District around the Capitol building will be closed to motor vehicles, with the area being turned into the site of musical concerts and other family-friendly events. McRae is dedicated to working on ways to promote the Downtown District as a viable, happening place with lots of things to entertain both visitors and Salem residents alike.
For more information on this event, check out the Sunday Streets website or their Facebook page.