Fulton Mall | Downtown Fresno Landmark

August 26, 2008 9:42:56 PM PDT
While some see the Fulton Mall as an out-dated outdoor shopping area, others cite its historical value.Here's a live look at the Fulton Mall in downtown Fresno. A push is underway to have this pedestrian mall added to the national register of historic places.

Often over-looked on the Fulton Mall is its vast collection of art. Here you'll find a sculpture by the renowned artist Renoir. Many of his paintings are featured in museums. The mall's design and layout has prompted the Downtown Fresno Coalition to nominate it for the national register of historic places.

Kelly Riddle, Economic Development Director: "This nomination includes the actual mall itself. None of the buildings. They also list some contributing objects and that would be many of the fountains, the artwork."

But Fresno city council members weren't exactly thrilled to learn of the nomination process ...

Mike Dages, Fresno City Councilman: "I think we're almost setting precedence of taking things that are 44 years old and calling them historical. That doesn't seem to be appropriate either to be honest with you."

The clock tower stands proud but the Fulton Mall isn't the bustling gathering spot it used to be when it opened in 1964. Some believe a national historic designation would bring in federal funding.

Karana Drayton, Historic Preservation Manager: "There are also grants that are available for historic resources. One might perhaps request a "Preserve America" grant that could help renovate the mall."

But there are also drawbacks to a historic designation ...

Karana Drayton: "Mostly it becomes a regulated permit, so for example if you have a building, if it's a registered historic property you can't pull out all the windows and makes changes to a facade."

Business owners who object to those types of limitations can speak their mind at a series of public hearings. The city wants to know how the public feels about nominating the Fulton Mall for historic designation.

The first meeting will be held Monday, September 22nd at Fresno City Hall. The final hearing and the mayor's recommendation will be made October 13th why some say the Fulton Mall should be labeled historic, while some say doing so could actually hurt the downtown Fresno landmark.

The push to have the Fulton Mall added to the national register of historic places.

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