In 1992, the concept of having an organization such as CityScape began with a group of concerned citizens who had the best interest of the community at heart. Rita Craighead, Joe and Connie Albrecht and city manager John Gentry decided that, with big-box stores such as Wal-Mart and Lowe’s moving in, Downtown needed attention. In 1992, to remain viable, Operation CityScape was incorporated, and in 1993, it achieved an IRS nonprofit status. Since then, our mission has been to establish a partnership between the public and private sectors that are dedicated to revitalizing Downtown Cookeville with an emphasis on community livability, economic restructuring, and historic preservation. In effect, we work with business owners of downtown properties help them with grants to revitalize their buildings. We also help keep downtown completely occupied to present a vibrant community. The first big undertaking was Phase I around the Courthouse Square in 1993. This project cost $587,000, with much of the work done in-house by the city. To-date, our biggest project is the Cream City Ice Cream sign functioning. We pay all maintenance fees for electrical, neon and structural expenses. To provide these services we have a Membership drive every year and do several downtown events to raise monies.
Upholding Our Historic Community