Current Projects
Equipped with 4 full time employees, interns, work studies and an army of awesome volunteers Old Town Cape, Inc. is constantly working to make downtown a better place. From planning annual events, to participating in national and local initiatives, leading special projects and partnering with organizations across the area we are always busy working on projects that improve Downtown Cape Girardeau. Check out a few we're working on now, below.

Ivers Square United States Colored Troop Statue

 Ivers Square Statue Ivers Square StatueIvers Square Statue

The Missouri Humanities Council (MHC) has awarded a grant of $10,000.00 to Old Town Cape, Inc. in support of the Ivers Square United States Colored Troop Statue. The MHC is the only state wide agency in Missouri devoted exclusively to humanities education for citizens of all ages. It has served as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities since 1971.

Efforts to install a statue of a United States Colored Troops soldier in Ivers Square are well under way due in large part to the diligence and hard work of community historian, Denise Lincoln. Lincoln’s focus has been to recover the region’s African-American Civil War history. In addition to numerous lectures, Lincoln proposed and lobbied for a highly detailed figurative statue to be installed in honor of and symbolic of the contributions of the U.S. Colored Troop soldiers who enlisted in Cape Girardeau, 1863 – 1864.

The statue, created by award winning sculptor and artist Roy W. Butler, along with associated interpretive signage is meant to complement the renovations and physical improvements to the courthouse grounds recently renamed Ivers Square honoring the memory of Pvt. James Ivers, 56th U.S. Colored Infantry, and his wife Harriet.

Overseeing the project is project director, Dr. Steven Hoffman. Dr. Hoffman, professor of history in the Department of History and Anthropology at Southeast Missouri State University and board member of Old Town Cape, Inc., will advise and assist in developing interpretive panels that interpret four major topics: the history of James and Harriet Ivers, the compelling story of the other enslaved individuals who enlisted at the courthouse, the role of the Missouri’s U.S. Colored Troops in the war effort, and the history of the existing union and confederate memorials on the site thereby providing a larger context for those memorials. Bonnie Kipper, representative of the Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission, is also assisting with the project.

The project seeks to acknowledge and celebrate the historic contribution of Cape Girardeau’s African-American community and to add accurate balance to the Civil War story and memorials placed at our city’s most historic site by previous generations.

Read more from community historian, Denise Lincoln, in the link below.

Denise Lincoln Proposal


 

Awning Grant

Old Town Cape is launching an Awning Grant! This is a dollar for dollar matching funds for material and labor, up to $1,500. A limited amount of funds are available through Old Town Cape, to help replace awnings for the betterment of downtown. The funds are paid as a matching grant for project materials and installation costs that are based on the limited availability of funds. Applications for this grant are due in for consideration by 5pm, Friday, September 28th, 2018. Details on the Old Town Cape, Inc. Awning Grant can be found in the link below. 

Awning Grant


Partners in Preservation: Ivers Square Revitalization

Partners in Preservation was a grant process that Old Town Cape, Inc. was invited to participate in this past winter. Partners in Preservation is a collaboration between American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year they focus on a different subject for the grant process and this past year they chose Main Streets, and we were one of 25 communities chosen to participate in the process.

After 36 days of vying for the community’s votes, Old Town Cape, Inc. won a grant for $127,500 to revitalize Ivers Square, and now the physical work is happening. Working with local engineer, Kelly Green of KLG Engineering as project manager, Old Town Cape, Inc. has assembled a great team including architect Phillip Smith and the construction crew from Kiefner Bros., Inc. to start the work. 

Now that event season is over, Old Town Cape, Inc. has taken steps toward the future! We are so excited to move forward with this project and with Special Projects Coordinator, Sarah LaVenture, at the helm, we are sure it will be a smooth and seamless process.

In the spring of 2018, we were able to get the first piece of the puzzle completed! The fountain at Ivers Square was cleaned, soda blasted and repainted. Watching the layers of paint and debris come off of the beautiful structure was like watching years of life being shaved off. Now the fountain looks nearly brand new.

At end of the summer season there was more work done in the square. Overnight the lattice roof of the gazebo was removed and the construction of the new roof began.

In 2019 we will see the entire project evolve. The spring will be a flurry of activity as the custom designed fascia will be applied to the gazebo and new and beautiful landscaping set to add the finishing touches.

Keep your eyes on Ivers Square and stay connected for updates as the project progresses.

 

Ivers Square Renovation Ivers Square Renovation  Ivers Square RenovationIvers Square Renovation

 


Downtown Cape Girardeau Strategic Plan

Downtown Cape Girardeau has grown tremendously in recent years.  Infrastructure improvements, building rehabilitation's, public art, and new policies are just a few ways in which the downtown has progressed since the previous strategic plan was adopted by the city in 2009.  The changing market places of technology, housing, and commercial real estate have offered new opportunities and challenges for downtown Cape Girardeau. The new Downtown Cape Girardeau Strategic Plan can be viewed here. 

Downtown Cape Girardeau Strategic Plan

Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture ExhibitOld Town Cape, Inc. is a huge advocate for public art! As members of the public art committee, we help to facilitate public art through place making and promotions of events like the Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit. For a full list of this year’s outdoor sculptures, as well as years past, visit capearts.org.

Shop Local

Supporting local small businesses is crucial to growing and maintaining our lovely city! We advocate for our community to support our downtown merchants all year and proudly participate in the following initiatives.

Shop Small is a nationwide movement to celebrate small businesses every day and to help communities thrive! Learn more about this initiative started by American Express here

The 3/50 Project is another shop local initiative that was created to continue the efforts to save the brick and mortars that our nation was built on. Click here for more information!