New ‘alliance’ leads downtown preservation efforts

Columbus residents interested in preserving the city’s downtown district may voice their concerns and share their ideas at the first meeting of the Historic Downtown Neighborhood Alliance.

The alliance’s Feb. 23 meeting will feature Mayor Jim Lienhoop and city council members Tom Dell and Elaine Wagner, scheduled to answer questions about efforts to preserve the downtown area.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Laws Room of First Presbyterian Church, 512 Seventh St. Organizers request questions be submitted by Friday to HDNA

Wagner was asked to attend the meeting because the district she represents includes downtown Columbus, said Sheryl Nulph, the alliance’s meeting facilitator. Dell owns a downtown business — Dell Brothers clothing store at Fourth and Washington streets — so his input also will be helpful at the meeting, Nulph said.

Submitted questions will be the priority at the meeting, and last-minute questions will only be answered if there is time at the end, Nulph said.

Based on the questions she has received so far, Nulph said residents are most interested in learning what plans the Lienhoop administration has to continue the work that was started in the downtown Columbus area under former Mayor Kristen Brown.

“They had done things like installing security cameras and pursuing abandoned and neglected properties, and we want to know how the current administration will continue doing that,” Nulph said.

The downtown neighborhood alliance is expanding its reach this year by allowing residents who do not live in the immediate downtown area to offer input on ways to preserve that portion of the city, Nulph said.

About a year ago, the group set its focus on the area inside the boundaries of Second and 15th streets to the north and south and Washington and Chestnut streets to the east and west, but decided this year to let residents not living in that area participate in their efforts, she said.

“Anybody who lives in Tipton Lakes that has a desire to help with historic preservation can be included, or they could have children who attend the schools in that area and, therefore, have an interest,” Nulph said.

If you go

Historic Downtown Neighborhood Alliance meeting

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 23

Where: Laws Room of First Presbyterian Church, 512 Seventh St.

What: Town hall question-and-answer session with Mayor Jim Lienhoop and city council members Tom Dell and Elaine Wagner

Who: Open to all Columbus residents with an interest in preserving the historic downtown area

For more information: Contact Sheryl Nulph at 812-372-9061, or visit

Have a question?

Organizers for the Historic Downtown Neighborhood Alliance are asking participants to email questions by Friday for the meeting on Feb. 23.

To send a question, email it to:

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.