Community Focus: Historic Capitol Hill District reinvigorated

Residents in Historic Capitol Hill District are working to revitalize three city blocks in the area. (KOKH)

A decade long movement to renovate an historic district in Oklahoma City is making major strides. It's taken years of work across generations, and now supporters of the Historic Capitol Hill District are working to make it shine again.

It is the main street on Oklahoma City's south side. The Historic Capitol Hill district is made up of three city blocks established in the 1900s, and over time it has deteriorated. People like Santiago Arzate are working to make the main street of Oklahoma City's south side more community friendly. For Arzate, it's also a family affair.

“It is my way for giving back to my family, and to my community. To show my support in helping it become something better,” says Santiago Arzate, Board President of the Capitol Hill District.

As a way to bring in more of the community, Calle Dos Cinco in Historic Capitol Hill, located on SW 25th between Robinson and Walker, hosts community events like the recent Fiestas de las Americas. The Yale Theater is under new ownership, and in competition for a major grant to help in the renovation. Leaders in the district say this could be key in attracting new business.

“Local business owners, local property owners, local neighbors really care about the area, really want to spend time cleaning it up, fix it up, and try to attract new businesses,” says Donna Cervantes, director for Historic Capitol Hill

Other major improvements include the OCC Capitol Hill Center, and a public library renovation. Arzate says steps like these will allow the area to shed its old image, and work toward something more positive.

“We can actually establish more of an artistic and entertainment district during the evening, and education district during the day,” says Arzate.

The next major event in the district is open streets OKC on October 22, a perfect opportunity to explore this up and coming district on the OKC south side.

People can vote for their favorite main street in that national grant contest through October 31st, clicking here will take you to the voting page.

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