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Athens’ Merchant’s Alley recognized with design award

ATHENS — A recent award was right up Athens’ alley.
Merchant’s Alley, that is.
The entertainment and arts venue in historic downtown Athens received the AIA (American Institute of Architects) North Alabama Chapter Honor Award.
The award was presented Tuesday night at the AIA NoAL Design Awards ceremony. This is “the jury’s highest level of commendation for exceptional design” given out at the event.
Brittany Mallette and Brad Mallette) receive the award. (Limestone County Economic Development Association/Contributed, 256 Today)

“Brad Mallette, our Athens Main Street Design Committee chair, was a vital, key contributor to our project,” Athens Main Street Executive Director Tere Richardson said. “He and the AMBL team helped create, clarify, and bring our vision to life.”

The chapter includes the region along and north of the Tennessee River, including Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, Scottsboro, Guntersville, Madison and Alabama.
Merchant’s Alley was among 27 projects, ranging from very small to very large and included The Orion Amphitheater in Huntsville and Alabama A&M’s new Event Center. View all projects here: https://pollunit.com/polls/aianoal_da23
An AIA sister chapter is selected to judge the projects. This year’s jury were board members from the AIA Corpus Christi chapter. Here were their comments regarding the Merchants Alley project:
  • Small Project, Big Impact
  • The project totally enlivened the space.  It went from derelict and scary to lively, dynamic, and vibrant.
  • This was truly a public project for the community as opposed to a particular client or clientele
  • Amazing how paint, outdoor furnishings, planters, and light go a far way with some great imagination! Great job working with tight budget constraints!
  • We liked that not the entire surface became a mural.  That the original brick and buildings still showed through.
  • We originally thought the “shed” buildings were removed, but were surprised to find that they remained (and painted), and yet the alley feels more open.  Bravo!
“This is a huge accomplishment, and we at AMBL Studios were honored to have been a part of the project,” said Mallette.

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