Salem Avenue is a major thoroughfare with approximately 27,000 motorists traveling it daily. The gateway to the Phoenix project area is the intersection of Salem and Catalpa. All the Phoenix stakeholders agreed that transforming these corners would be integral to the project’s success in that it would signal the changes underway in the interior neighborhood. These corners had been derelict for many years with vacant, deteriorating buildings and overgrown, weedy lots filled with trash. A rundown restaurant building occupied the southeast corner; a huge expanse of asphalt and concrete, remnants of a long-closed BP service station, filled the northeast corner. The northwest corner was the site of the former Troutman music recording studio.

Through a collaborative planning effort these three corners have been transformed into a place of beauty. With wrought iron fencing, attractive brick columns, period lighting, and native trees and flowers, this new green space is a symbol of community revitalization. The new Gateway was dedicated in October 2008 and provides a welcome vista to people traveling Salem Avenue and visitng Good Samaritan Hospital.

As the Gateway transformation began positive memories about the musical legacy of the Troutman family began to be discussed and a celebration of music has become the inspiration for a public art project at the Gateway now being planned. For more information on the fundraising campaign, “The Music Lives On”, click here, to view the public art click here.