Historic lights turned on in downtown Cape Girardeau

Friday, February 16, 2007
New street lamps illuminated the intersection of William and Main streets in downtown Cape Girardeau late Thursday. The Missouri Department of Transportation covered most of the $53,500 bill to put in the nine lights. (Kit Doyle)

About 20 people endured brutally cold temperatures to inaugurate nine new historic lights in Cape Girardeau's downtown district.

"I can see that this really is no time to pontificate," Mayor Jay Knudtson said to those huddled for the ceremony at the corner of Main Street in the parking lot of Old St. Vincent's Church Thursday.

"We're looking forward to brightening up our downtown," he said.

The $53,500 project was funded mainly through a $45,000 Missouri Department of Transportation enhancement grant. The remainder of the work is covered by corporate sponsors solicited by Old Town Cape.

The lights are spaced at 175-foot intervals on Main Street from Merriwether Street to William Street and on William Street from Main Street to Spanish Street.

US Bank, Security Bank & Trust, the Southeast Missourian, Wood & Huston, 1st Community Bank, Hartle Management Agency, Wal-Mart and First State Community Bank all made donations to make up the $8,500 local match.

The lights are the first step in a long-term plan by the city and Old Town Cape to light the walking route from downtown to Southeast Missouri State's new River Campus School for the Visual and Performing Arts.

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