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Introducing the Community Association of Historic St. Elmo: A Gaze Into the Past of St. Elmo

Historic St. Elmo architecture

Introducing the Community Association of Historic St. Elmo

A Gaze Into the Past of St. Elmo

The picturesque Chattanooga neighborhood at the base of Lookout Mountain, otherwise known as St. Elmo, is recognized as one of the oldest suburbs in the area. The Community Association of Historic St. Elmo (CAHSE) presently presides over the neighborhood, ensuring its upkeep and preservation.

CAHSE’s current President, Nathan Bird, shared the historical timeline of the association alongside some interesting insights about the suburb. The concept of an association in St. Elmo can be traced back to the late ’70s marked by the establishment of the St. Elmo Improvement League. This foundation was grounded in the commitment to enhance a formerly bustling area that had deteriorated over time.

Beginning of St. Elmo’s Resurgence

During the 1990s, a significant feat was achieved when St. Elmo was designated as a historic zoning district, largely credited to the relentless efforts of CAHSE. Bird explained that this milestone was crucial for St. Elmo to regain its status as a premier neighborhood. Investing in the restoration of historic homes in the area was a significant part of this process, signifying a rebirth for St. Elmo.

Consequent years (from early 2000-2010s) witnessed the association’s meticulous efforts to preserve and develop the district better. One of the significant achievements was converting an abandoned lot into a community park and also guarding Hawkins Ridge against further development.

Facing the Challenges of the Modern Era

In recent years, the association is gradually revamping itself in response to various challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. CAHSE now operates under a six-person committee system to adapt and respond to the needs of the ever-changing St. Elmo.

The committee looks at various areas to ensure the welfare of the community. Some of the work supervised by the committee includes Zoning & Development, Traffic Safety, Safety & Security, Advancement, and Events & Civic Engagement. All these efforts aim to keep the ‘historic’ attribute of St. Elmo intact and to forge stronger bonds among the residents.

Current and Future Goals of CAHSE

As it stands, the association is focusing its efforts on curbing traffic issues within the neighborhood. St. Elmo is collaborating with city authorities and the state to moderate speeding and bring in traffic calming solutions. In addition to this, the association is exploring measures to protect Virginia Avenue, the local greenway and increase crosswalk designations.

CAHSE is determined to uphold the distinct charm and historic value of St. Elmo. The association encourages newcomers and current residents to participate actively to further enhance this vibrant neighborhood. To get involved, residents can sign up for the St. Elmo email list or participate in monthly meetings.

“The neighborhood association acts as a middle ground between different levels of government,” Bird shared. “This allows us to act as a liaison, raising potential issues to the city or county level.”

Source: HERE News Network
Author: HERE News

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