Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Fulton Street

Ezra Romero

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Jordan Gustafson lives in the tallest building in Fresno. It's called the Pacific Southwest (or Security Bank Building) and its front doors exit onto Fulton Street. She's a Clovis native, but she moved to Fresno after living in New York and San Francisco. She loves that she can bike to work at Bitwise Industries.

Ezra

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street.  Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company owner Michael Cruz hopes that more bars and pubs like his will make a home on Fulton Street and bring back the nightlife. He is concerned about the time between now and when the street is fully established. He says people need to be reminded that things are taking place in downtown. 

Joe Moore / KVPR

Thousands gathered this weekend for a festival to mark the reopening of six blocks of Fulton Street that once made up the pedestrian-only Fulton Mall. The multi-million dollar reconstruction project was one of the most controversial in recent local memory, with critics on all sides. Some claim the new street won’t help revitalize the area, at the same time as others say it will cause gentrification, driving away existing businesses that cater to the largely Latino shoppers who never left downtown.

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. This edition features community activist Sandra Celedon, who is a lifelong Fresno area resident and grew up shopping on the mall. She worries that by turning the page, Fresno could lose what made the Fulton Mall the heart of downtown. Celedon says business owners of color shouldn't be priced out of doing business on the new Fulton Street. 

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street.  Raul DeAlba and his family own a number of businesses on Fulton Street. He has seen the mall shift and change and is ready for a new chapter.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street.  Jesus Diaz owns Casa Latina Mini Mart. He says he has been waiting for the street to open and is optimistic about his future.

Kerry Klein/KVPR

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Desirae Washington opened Take 3 on Fulton Mall months before construction started. Now, with the street open, she is hoping for new life, and possibly a second business opportunity. 

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Gentrification is a big worry for advocates of the people who currently live and work on Fulton Street. Ashley Warner with Fresno's Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability says Fresno needs to be act now to make sure displacement is kept to a minimum.

Joyce Aiken

Our series of first-person audio postcards asked a variety of Fresno residents to share their thoughts about the the removal of downtown's Fulton Mall and the re-opening of Fulton Street. Artist Joyce Aiken was one of the artists who helped craft the Fulton Mall's signature look five decades ago. She helped design the mall's iconic mosaic benches in 1964. More recently she was part of a group that sued the city, attempting to stop the Fulton Street project. Now, she is looking toward the future and a new life for her restored work on the new Fulton Street.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

On Tuesday morning, construction crews slowly lifted the old Fulton Mall clock tower into the clear Fresno sky and moved the delicate structure to a new home, just a few feet away. Moving the iconic structure, which has stood in downtown since the mall was built in 1964, signals the home stretch of turning the pedestrian mall back into a street.

The city also used the occasion to announce the official grand opening of the completed project is set for October 21st, 2017.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

It’s the end of an era in downtown Fresno.

After years of hard fought battles over the fate of the Fulton Mall, demolition is underway. Dozens turned out for an official ground breaking on a project to pull out the six-block pedestrian walking mall in downtown Fresno and turn it back into a street.

Music blared and Fresno Fuego fans banged drums to celebrate what many see as a new chapter in the history of downtown Fresno. The vision of supporters is to revive the downtown corridor by opening up the corridor to vehicle traffic.