Want to add a new level of interest to your downtown? Take advantage of your rooftop spaces.
I was on a walk-though of the small town of Kendrick, Idaho, and a young man pointed up to the top of a one-story building and said, “I bet we could make a cool hangout spot up there.”
It reminded me of a number of cool rooftop spaces I’ve seen in bigger cities.
In Oklahoma City, the Museum of Art has a rooftop space that they turned into a hangout spot complete with a bar selling drinks, music and dancing. I was invited up there for a get-together before a conference. They said it was the coolest place to hangout in Oklahoma City. It was actually the hottest, I think, given the 100+ degree weather we were having that day. But it was still crowded, and everyone was talking and having a good time. The views were terrific, and when the sun finally went down, it was delightful.
When I was in Austin, Texas, I saw several buildings where the rooftop space was used. Usually they had shade from fabric awnings or metal roofs. A few were cantilevered out over the street.
(Before the naysayers in your head start shouting about liability and code, remember these examples of others who have managed it safely and legally. If the Museum of Art can find a way to do it, so can you.)
Go downtown. Look up.
You don’t have to start with full-time permanent places. Start with temporary fun events. Start with a pop-up. Create a patio just for a special evening event. String some lights. Bring up some chairs. Be safe, but have some fun.
Do you have a small town rooftop story? Add it in the comments below. Or hit reply if you’re reading this via email.
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