Key Players: Gaines Street Makeover

Big names in the Gaines Street renovation project The Short List of Key Players in the Gaines Street Makeover

{mosimage}Tallahassee Mayor John Marks

Marks was elected in 2003 and actively promotes the revitalization of not only the Gaines Street corridor but the adjacent downtown area as well. Marks is the lead commissioner on the city’s Economic Development Committee, which helps create, expand and diversify economic opportunities and business incentives. Along with his many professional affiliations, Marks is a member of the Tallahassee Economic Development Council.

{mosimage}T.K. Wetherell, president of Florida State University

Described on the university Web site as a “high-energy, student-oriented” president, Wetherell is the first FSU alumnus to lead the university. He is a veteran college administrator and former state legislator and, since he came on board in 2003, has led FSU in its most extensive construction program to date. This includes three new residence halls, a classroom building, food service facilities, parking garages, research facilities and an alumni center.

{mosimage}Paula Smith, Performing Arts Center Committee Chairwoman

Smith has been greatly involved in several public projects in recent years, including serving on the planning and construction committee for the Leon County Public Library and the Urban Green Spaces Committee, and serving as chairwoman of the 2001 United Way Campaign. Lately she has been working toward helping the city develop a massive new performing arts center, currently planned for the eastern entrance to the Gaines Street corridor.

{mosimage}Ruth Wharton, Chairwoman of the Gaines Street Vitalization Committee

An employee of the Railroad Square arts district since 1988, Wharton has kept a close eye on Gaines Street redevelopment for many years. She has been a member of the Gaines Street Vitalization Committee since 2000 and became chairwoman in 2003. Through her leadership, the committee has consistently voted to support a “two-way” street design that would accommodate pedestrians and on-street parking.

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