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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, July 23, 2024


April 15, 2004 – Reconstruction of Times Square, once known as Sunday Market Square, got under way this week and is expected to continue until next February. Meantime, the downtown Christiansted area will be closed to vehicular traffic.
The renovation and restoration will include an aisle of mature mahogany trees along the Market Street roadway, granite curbing, historic-style lighting and buried utility lines. There also will be new pedestrian walkways.
The $1.5 million redevelopment project is aimed at reviving the area's historically significant buildings and inspiring a sense of community. It's a partnership project of the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development and the V.I. government, with Federal Highway Administration funding.
Located at the edge of downtown Christiansted, Times Square for centuries served as a center of commerce and as a communal meeting place for slaves and freed coloreds. It remained a gathering spot among St. Croix's residents through the mid-1900s, then fell into decades of neglect and social decay. After the devastation of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the area attracted the downtrodden, the antisocial and criminal elements.
Roger Dewey, Community Foundation executive director, said the dilapidated buildings "acted as a disincentive to tourism and investment in the community." In 1998 the foundation acquired seven buildings in the Market Street area and began restoring them. Dewey believes that once other property owners and potential investors witness this commitment to the community, they, too, will put money into reviving the area.
The foundation has restored four properties so far, and all are now occupied by viable businesses: the Archibald Building at 32 King Street, the bottom floor of No. 35 King Street, 22A King Street, and 22-23 Market Street.
Dewey says the restoration efforts are a community effort. "I must give credit to the Virgin Islands government, Public Works and the Federal Highway Administration," he said.
For the next 10 months, vehicular traffic will be prohibited east to west on Market Street. Traffic into Christiansted on King Street will not be affected. Outbound traffic on Company Street will be detoured north on Prince Street and west on Water Gut Street to Bassin Triangle. Vehicles over 25 feet long will be detoured to South Shore Road.
Detour signs are posted.

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