Courtyard Plan Solidifies for Downtown Lot

Presenting the plan to create a courtyard between his building and the St. Croix No. 1 Firehouse is Gary "Tex" Young. Young met with the Property Committee on Wednesday, August 30th to review the proposal. From the front and continuing clockwise: City Councilor Eddie Moreside, City Code Enforcement Officer Tim Krug, City Councilor Artie Mingo, Dave Seavey, Dick Barnard of the St. Croix No. 1 Fire House Association, and Gary Young. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson


The parking lot between the St. Croix No. 1 Fire House and Gary “Tex” Young’s building on Main Street will soon be converted into a pedestrian-only courtyard with sitting areas and a wrought-iron fence with a gate. Preliminary work is anticipated to begin this fall with the majority of the work taking place in the spring. The plan for the courtyard was among the topics reviewed at a Property Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 30th. 

To complete the courtyard, Young will need to level out the parking lot, a task he plans to accomplish using pavers. An external stairwell will be added to Young’s building on the back corner next to the street that runs between Main Street and the municipal parking lot. The stairwell will protrude outward just over 12’. A brick wall will be constructed along both sides of the parking lot to enclose the courtyard, and an 8’ gate will be added to the side running along the back street. Another gate and a door will be added to the wall that will run along Church Street.

The stairwell and the walls will be made to last, according to Young. “It’s all going to be out of block and brick. It’s all going to be solid masonry. That way there’s no question from the State Fire Marshall or anyone else.” Young said the entire area and the stairwell would be handicap accessible.

The street leading between Main Street and the municipal parking lot will be made into a one-way, a move that Young urges is necessary. “This needs to be a one-way street here. We’ve already had two accidents with people getting hit.” Discussing which way the one-way should run, City Councilor Artie Mingo said that in Rockland the one-ways are arranged so that deliveries can come up from the Main Street. It was agreed by those present that an ordinance should be drafted to that effect immediately. Any parking in the area will be for deliveries only.

While much of the work will take place next year, Young is hoping to be able to install the dumpster pad and finish the stairwell this year. “I know I have to get that stairwell done before I can do any more work on the inside of my building,” Young commented. He expects the courtyard project will be a major undertaking. “It’s a lot of work. Especially all the pavers there. People don’t realize how much work that is.”

Since the work will commence this year, Young will be taking full responsibility for snow removal in the parking lot as the city won’t be able to bring its equipment in. 

“I think what Tex is proposing here is going to be a plus-plus for everyone,” said Dick Barnard, member of the St. Croix No. 1 Fire House Association. 

Indicating where the stairwell will go on the back of his building is Gary "Tex" Young. The stairwell, which will be handicap accessible, is part of a courtyard project that will see the entire back parking lot between Young's building and the St. Croix No. 1 Firehouse enclosed. While most of the work will be completed next year, Young aims to finish the stairwell as soon as possible. (Photo by Lura Jackson)