Demolition Set to Commence for Revitalization of Historic Downtown Oxford

Demolition Set to Commence for Revitalization of Historic Downtown Oxford

The City of Oxford is embarking on an ambitious journey to revitalize Historic Downtown Oxford, marking a significant milestone in the community's ongoing efforts to preserve its rich heritage while embracing new opportunities for growth and development.

As part of this transformative initiative, plans are underway to construct the Alabama Children's Museum and attract a vibrant mixed-use commercial development to the area. To kickstart this endeavor, demolition for nine properties primarily located on East Choccolocco Street and Spring Street will begin on March 19, 2024, and conclude by June 1, 2024. Structures included are 220 East Choccolocco Street, 230 East Choccolocco Street, 300 East Choccolocco Street, 308 East Choccolocco Street, 314 East Choccolocco Street, 320 East Choccolocco Street, 219 Snow Street, 229 Snow Street, and 17 Spring Street. Complete Demolition Services, a reputable firm based out of Carrollton, Georgia, has been entrusted with the task of executing this crucial phase of the project.

The decision to proceed with the demolition follows a comprehensive evaluation process involving key stakeholders such as the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs (ADECA), East Alabama Regional Planning & Development Commission (EARPDC), Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), CDG Engineering, Inc., and the City of Oxford. While Historic Main Street Oxford remains dedicated to preserving downtown's history, thorough assessments revealed significant health and safety hazards associated with the existing structures on East Choccolocco Street and Spring Street.

"This demolition project represents a pivotal moment for our community's revitalization efforts, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the transformation of Historic Downtown Oxford," stated Mayor Alton Craft. "While it is with a sense of nostalgia that we bid farewell to these structures, their removal paves the way for exciting developments that will breathe new life into our beloved neighborhood, fostering growth, prosperity, and a renewed sense of community spirit."

"Preserving the history and character of Historic Downtown Oxford is paramount to our community's identity," said Hunter Gentry, Director of Historic Main Street Oxford. "However, after careful consideration and consultation with experts, we determined that the deteriorating conditions of the buildings posed significant risks to public safety. It is with a heavy heart that we proceed with the demolition, but we remain committed to honoring the memories of the families who once called East Choccolocco Street home."

In adherence to historic preservation standards, detailed surveys and photographs of each structure have been conducted to document their architectural significance and preserve their legacy for future generations.