Smithfield Carves New Downtown Identity
Posted February 20, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
SMITHFIELD — The town of Smithfield is getting back to its old self again. City leaders are restoring many buildings to their original architecture. It's only one change taking place, where "downtowners" are carving out a new identity.
Pharmacist Tina Hobbs remembers when Smithfield leaders wanted to change downtown's look back in 1965. They had something called the "Smithfield Plan." Modern design took over, covering old brick buildings with aluminum facades.
Hobbs and others on the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation say it all adds to the new energy on these streets. New paint, new signs, and new businesses.
Scott Simpher says the economy is strong even though the growth is slow. But, he says as Wake County continues to grow, more people will flood into surrounding counties and towns like Smithfield, and that's what he's helping to prepare for.
The Downtown Development Corporation is asking for public funding to bury above ground utilities and to complete other streetscape projects. Tina Hobbs says that it's all about investing in the town's future.
Other historic changes taking place in Downtown Smithfield. A new town hall is scheduled for completion this spring, and the Johnston County Courthouse has a new annex under construction.