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West End wall gives introduction to the community

SALISBURY — At the intersection of Brenner Avenue and Monroe Street, a wall was erected to mark the entrance to the West End neighborhood.

On Monday morning, West End Pride, the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation and the city celebrated the entrance.

“We have a special neighborhood,” said Shirley McLaughlin of West End Pride. “We have a historical neighborhood, and we just want to say that we have a special neighborhood. And to do that, we wanted to beautify, and this is added to the beautification.”

The sign was paid for by the foundation, and the city designed it.

“The Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation is really excited to be a part of this,” said Jason Walser, the foundation’s executive director. “This is just the beginning. Obviously, it’s a long time coming. Probably should’ve been done years ago. We’re pleased to be a part of giving some recognition to this neighborhood.”

Stephen Brown, landscape architect for the city, and Alyssa Nelson, urban design planner, agreed that the wall will give West End an identity.

“It’s a good introduction for the community,” Brown said.

McLaughlin said she is glad the city saw the community’s need for the wall.

“I think the city saw what we were trying to do,” McLaughlin said. “We weren’t trying to be extravagant or go beyond things. It was something that was really needed for the community. And I think now everyone feels like it’s really an asset.”

Walser said he hopes the addition will prompt more beautifying of the neighborhood.

“It’s an anchor for the community and, long term, we would like to see Monroe Street and Horah Street continue to improve aesthetically,” Walser said. “I think you can see some of the houses have already started to be improved upon, and I think this is just a kickoff for 10, 15 years of community improvement.”

Ann Pryor of West End Pride said the wall is part of bringing the community together.

“We hope this brings the closeness of the community, neighbors helping neighbors,” Pryor said. “With this beautification, this will just follow suit with that.”

After a ribbon-cutting and some words from Joyce Smyre of West End Pride, people mingled at the wall Monday. Walser took a moment and then commented on the happiness and laughter.

“It’s about pride,” he said.

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