We Heart Lewisburg -- Picture the Piers

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We Heart Lewisburg -- Picture the Piers

Communities extend across both space and time.  They can be said to have multiple different hearts.  Over the past 100 years and across its many blocks and acres, the Borough of Lewisburg has known a variety of hearts.  The original core of the settlement was a mill near the mouth of Limestone Run.  Once the town was surveyed, the site of the river crossing was key.  The physical center moved west to 3rd St by the mid 1800s.  Cultural centers were created with the churches, the courthouse, and the post office.  After the devastating flood in 1972, a new park was established, creating yet another center at Hufnagle Park.
In the intervening years, the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail was built and extended into town.  One side effect of the recovery of the east-west tracks as public space has been a heightened appreciation for some of the most prominent industrial ruins in the area, the concrete piers that used to carry sidings accessing the coal yards.  The piers have attracted the attention of local artists and thinkers and planners and dreamers.  Seeing them as a site with huge potential, a team has come together to work on turning them into yet another key public space in the Borough.  The team invites everyone to “Picture the Piers” in a new light, as a place of encounter, a place of celebration, a place of commemoration.  We have a vision for site-specific interactive art there and want to bring others in and discover what they will bring to the space.
The first exhibit proposed to be realized this year on the surface of the piers will be on the theme of our 2020 pandemic experience, entitled “6 feet apART.”  There will be a gathering at the piers (6 feet apART of course!) on the Spring Equinox, Saturday, March 20, during which local artist Davis Hathaway will share his site studies to date and seek input from others in the community, whether artists or thinkers or supporters.  Please keep an eye on the Lewisburg Neighborhoods website and facebook page for more details or contact us at news@LewisburgNeighborhoods.org if you already know you want to be involved. 
Moving on from the Equinox event, those wanting to make their mark more durably will be able to submit project proposals to the team for review and approval.  That said, not everything need be done with the permanence of paint; there will also be a community chalk art event at the site during this year’s Celebration of the Arts in April.  And then, by June, we will be realizing our visions with a combination of media, using the weathered concrete as our canvas.
How will you express your 2020 experience?  What comes to mind?  What do you want to share?  Let’s come together to realize 6 feet apART.
This is a collaborative effort of Lewisburg Neighborhoods, the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, the Lewisburg Arts Council, and visionary community members, bringing art to life in Lewisburg Borough.

1925 map of the site showing the original function of the piers as part of the railroad access to the coal yard.

Conceptual sketch of the site by Davis Moore.

The potential of the pier site for many types of activities -- even ice skating!

Chalk art is a way for people of all ages to engage with the piers.

View of the piers in winter from the rail trail.
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