Thanks to the Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS®, a dimly lit, little-used service alley in downtown Huntsville, Ala., has found new purpose as a creative, interactive gathering space for the entire community.
Once a dingy spot that pedestrians would avoid, the newly minted “Chandelier Alley” has sprung to brilliant life with sparkling lights, interactive art, and bustling crowds attracted to the regular slate of events hosted in the alley. Working in partnership with the City of Huntsville and nonprofit Downtown Huntsville, Inc., HAAR helped lead the placemaking process, including design review, cleanup of the site, and activation of the alley located between Spring Street and Clinton Avenue. A $5,000 Placemaking Grant from the National Association of REALTORS® enabled HAAR to contribute funds to decorative seating, artistic lighting, and interactive art spaces.
Completed in the summer of 2022, the alley also includes two signature artistic pieces that have locals and tourists alike flocking downtown for photo ops: a colorful chandelier mural painted by acclaimed local artist Jessie Andrews and a chandelier sculpture created by Drop Metal design and fabrication studio founder Micah Gregg.
A permanent plaque listing HAAR as the sponsor of the chandelier adorns the alleyway.
From June to October last year, regular night markets featuring local vendors and interactive activities from Huntsville’s art and entertainment partners drew scores of delighted visitors to Chandelier Alley. A second summer session of night markets is due to start soon, and even more events are planned for the colorful downtown space.
HAAR leadership and staff are proud that they could be of service to the community through a placemaking project. “REALTORS® are more than door openers,” HAAR President Isaac Winkles told news outlet 265today.com. “We’re community partners committed to moving our area forward every day. We were proud to organize our REALTOR® community to support and help clean up the area.”