Empty building ideas: Art gallery in the windows

Local art can fill up empty windows in small towns, bringing more life and activity to downtown. Photo by by Toni Henry

Many small towns have a challenge of too many empty buildings or too many buildings used only for storage.

In one small town, the problem was an existing store that was using a neighboring building for storage, but had nothing in the windows. In another town, it was a building used for storage by a moving and storage company. They have just plain curtains in the front windows. Lots of buildings are up for rent, so they have nothing in the window except a “for lease” sign. None of these is adding anything positive to the downtown, and they actually make it feel less full.

To bring more life and activity to your downtown, you have to get something interesting in those otherwise empty windows. 

Toni Henry sent this story of filling empty windows in her small town, and it’s one that any small town could copy.

In the small town of East Brady, Pennsylvania, (population 950) there are several vacant store fronts. In October a building owner gave permission for volunteers to clean-up the façade of one of her buildings and to dress up the windows with local artwork. The project cost our East Brady Area Development Corporation (a non-profit made up of volunteers) a total of $100 for a sign, a blind on the door (to hide the interior), several plexiglass frames for identification of artists and their work and small heaters to prevent condensation

Keep reading this article on Small Biz Survival - Becky McCray.