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11/16/2012 6:01:00 AM
New Brunswick for Old Downtown
Renovations, murals part of new look for old Kingman downtown
JC AMBERLYN/MinerSwiss businessman Werner Fleischmann is the owner of the Hotel Brunswick.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner

Swiss businessman Werner Fleischmann is the owner of the Hotel Brunswick.
CourtesyThe first completed mural image. Building owner Elmer Graves stands on the right and Robbie Wright of Axiom Remodeling is shown on the left. The painting was later installed in a shadow box in the open window behind the two.
Courtesy

The first completed mural image. Building owner Elmer Graves stands on the right and Robbie Wright of Axiom Remodeling is shown on the left. The painting was later installed in a shadow box in the open window behind the two.

JC Amberlyn
Staff Photographer


KINGMAN - A group of people committed to developing downtown Kingman's potential as a Route 66 and historical attraction is working together on projects to beautify the area, including renovations to the Hotel Brunswick and two adjacent buildings in downtown Kingman and new murals on downtown windows.

Hotel Brunswick on Andy Devine Avenue has long been an important landmark in downtown Kingman. The adjacent building, known as Old Trails Garage, has seen many uses, including feed store and vehicle repair shop.

Swiss businessman Werner Fleischmann purchased both buildings earlier this year and is committed to restoring them to their former glory.

"I want to make it more attractive, (bring) more life," he said

The buildings are being restored to their appearance in the early 1900s while also being modernized for today's needs. The Miner recently featured a story about some of the unusual things that Axiom Remodeling found while demolishing small portions of the old buildings, including movie posters, old newspapers and empty tins and bottles.

On Nov. 10, the hotel held an open house to find managers and staff for running a planned bakery, bar and restaurant.

Elmer and Craig Graves own the building to the west.

In a separate but related project, Route 66 historian Jim Hinckley, Axiom Remodeling and the Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center are working on a multi-stage beautification project on the Graves' building featuring murals painted by local artist Sandy Rusinko.

The Kingman Downtown Merchants' Association recently joined the group. All are seeking to develop more of downtown Kingman's potential.

There are four windows, all of which will feature a shadowbox-style mural when done. Currently one window's mural (which costs $400) has been completed with funding through the city of Kingman Visitor Center.

The Downtown Merchants' Association recently committed to funding the art for the second window. Donations are being sought to help complete the other two.

"To ensure a period look for the murals, Kevin Morgan of Axiom Remodeling donated the labor as well as materials from the Brunswick Hotel renovation for the construction and installation of the inserts," says a statement from the Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center.

"The inserts for the rest of the windows are complete and fundraising for the cost of the murals remains the last hurdle in the completion of this stage of the project ... This will transform the garage owned by Elmer and Craig Graves into a foundational cornerstone for a downtown beautification endeavor."

The Powerhouse continues: "As envisioned, the multi-faceted project will include mural boards to protect windows and beautify currently empty properties in the historic district, the creation of the world's largest Route 66 museum to foster foot traffic in the area, and various landscaping projects."

For more information, contact Kevin Morgan at (928) 279-0230 or project organizer Jim Hinckley at (928) 530-7899.

Mission Bank
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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@KDM Online reader only

Thanks for the info. Confirms my belief that he was only interested in profiting by using other people work and not paying them for material he uses.

As far as his claim "we depend on the generosity of our readers" goes. He should get back to us when he is not selling his product for a profit.


Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: KDM online reader only

Part two of the story by Paul Taylor:

"The thing that saddens me is the bureaucratic attitude that makes material donated at no cost, to be shared with everyone, the exclusive property of one person.

"I fully understand museums have costs to deal with, but the publication of their materials often leads to more visitors as people stop to see what else they may have."

"I had hoped to do a story on the Mohave County Museum (and from the looks of some of the exhibits they have some interesting things), but since I was ushered out in such an unfriendly fashion I cannot give you any details on their exhibits. The end result is we all lose out on this one.”


Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: KDM online reader only

Frank,

There was an article or e-mail sent by Paul Taylor of Route 66 Magazine that seems to corroborate "Anson's Nephew’s story, however he highly exaggerated the fee of $100, which according to Paul Taylor, the lady was going to charge a fee of $10 per photo. I understand that lady used to be the bookkeeper at the museum.

Also, based on the information Anson’s Nephew detailed, there is no doubt now that it proves he is in fact Bob Moore.

“In our travels we are quite often invited into local museums to examine and possibly photograph some of their material pertaining to Route 66. A couple of the more outstanding ones that come to mind are the Old Trails Museum in Winslow, Arizona, and the Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean, Texas.

Most of the time people are excited to have us use the material and to share it with the world. Other times things do not go as planned.

On our latest trip we were invited to photograph some classic Route 66 material at the Mohave County Museum in Kingman. The arrangements had been made and approvals granted. Upon our arrival we were given the cold shoulder by the individual in charge of the area. She was so intent upon our not using “her” material that she finally stormed out of the room, only to return later with a smug smile and the news that they charged ten dollars per photo. At that point I explained we are a small publication and we rely on the generosity of our readers and others for much of our classic material. I also pointed out we were in Kingman to promote not only Route 66, but her community as well. She insisted – I demurred – packed my equipment and left.”


Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Ansons Nephew

"had arranged to use some of the material at the museum"

Some information appears to be missing.

Is the museum private, or publically owned?

If you had "arranged to use" material ahead of time, why did you leave if some mysterious unnamed "nasty woman" confronted you? Was the unnamed "nasty woman" the one you had the arrangement with?

If this was your personal, for profit endeavor, why should you be allowed to have material to use in it for free?

The story is vague enough on details to bring its authenticity to question.


Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Tatalovich

I applaude all of those who are participating in this project that is sure to be a source of pride for those of us who live in the Kingman area and hopefully a stimulus to others who have property downtown to follow the lead of these folks as well as others (James at TNT, Gilbert at El Palacio's and Rod's new place up the hill a bit to name a few) who have helped to spruce up downtown.

As a kid in the late '50's we traveled Old Route 66 (the whole route!) often on our summer vacations and I have some very fond memories of that experience so I think the Route 66 theme is great...sure works for Seligman and other towns on the route. Also, as a "car guy" I have many friends and contacts in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc. and I can honestly say Route 66 is a very big deal to these fellow car enthusiasts and a number who visit the States make it a priority to travel at least part of the stretch.

As for the naysayers, well all I can say is that these folks are pouring thier money, resources and time into these projects that help the community as a whole and more power to them...what have you done lately???


Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Article comment by: mikel weisser

Just got off the phone w local culture champion, Jim Hinckley, who is the mural project manager to congratulate him on this excellent project. Three years ago, KHS art teacher, Kim Alsheimer, and I organized local artist Jack Burden, along with others, to paint murals on that very block on the front of the Hotel Beale. The murals, called "Reflections of 66" are still there, but needing a touch up. I promised to get back down and lend a hand.

Yet, even as we were sharing our joy over improvements this project will yield and the beauty it will add to our downtown and tourist industry, Jim was lamenting the negative comments his nothing but positive project was receiving. I read farther along to see the typical idiotic claptrap people usually invest on my articles or activities. All i can say is haters gotta hate i guess, but you naysayers are positively batty. You are wrong and you are not doing good for our city with your crappy attitude.

Politically, Jim & I may appear to be polar opposites, but we both care about the beauty of Kingman and what we can add to it. Our community is weakened, even crippled, when we do not advance our arts. Because of politics i usually dismiss the naysayers I routinely hear from as victims of political prejudice--as a liberal Democrat, to some, no matter what i say it is wrong. But this case is pathetic. These cynics and sour grape sellers aren't just anti-liberal. They're anti-anything and that means anti-Kingman.

Thanks again to Jim, Mr Graves and Mr Fleischman for continuing our efforts to celebrate beauty in Kingman. Thanks to the other letter writers who have defended them and tried to set the record straight on the current impact of tourism on our economy. Haters gotta hate, but that doesn't mean civilized citizens have to like it.

mikel weisser
www.mikelweisser.org


Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Many communities along the 2,448 miles of Route 66 have profited and actually turned themselves around by recognizing the value of The Mother Road to their community. But I remember when I first began The Mother Road Journal in 1990 and was told by the head of the C of C in Flagstaff that he had no idea what Route 66 was. And in Kingman I was prepared to do a large layout on the city and had arranged to use some of the material at the museum. As we set up to photograph old photos and post cards a rather nasty women showed up and told me if I didn’t pay her $100 for piece I could not photograph the material. We packed our equipment and left rather than even discuss anything with that person. THAT is what can kill a community.

Each year thousands of tourists from Europe, Australia and South America make “that California trip” to find America along Route 66. And they do stop and roam the communities. It took ages to convince the shop owners of Williams (who were always complaining about no business) to stay open into the early evening and once they did they found out that these tourists will come in and they will spend money. Kingman is well positioned as an overnight stop for people traveling either west or east and that is a positive aspect for reaching out to those tourists dollars.

Kingman has a great opportunity to become a real Route 66 town and those with the vision can make it happen. But the usual suspects who only want to see failure at every level in this country can destroy that opportunity. Congrats to everyone behind every attempt to bring Route 66 back to life in Kingman.

w/c299


Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Article comment by: Desert Angel

This is a good start. We need more things for people to do in Kingman. Maybe something for children and teens. Then the tourists will have more reason to stick around. It would be nice to see more outside seating surrounding these places and maybe someone could donate to painting a mural on a window? Keep going in the right direction and we may just keep this town on the map.


Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Article comment by: only bane

The biggest problem with the brunswick renovation is the sad fact its located next to the Sportsmans club.

That's one eyesore all the paint, money and hope on earth wont solve.

Families walking past a loud bar with smokers on the sidewalk will cause many to keep on going.


Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Article comment by: Jan Leidenberger-Yarush

I have been a long time resident/ real estate broker in Kingman. I met and worked with Mr. Fleishman many years ago on a land development outside of Kingman. He is a great person and has an eye for the future. I wish him much success with his restoration endeavors. I will look forward to visiting his establishments. Good luck Warner!

Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Article comment by: Time Traveler From the Future

Some people in Kingman Historical/ Merchants'/Development will have to prove they are mentally stable and actually not suffering from Hoarders Disease. Worldwide coverage will make this restoration a success as money floods in from Europe.French will threaten UN action to create a Worldwide Right of citizens to maintain a collection, & requirement to submit historical objects to world governments if an object is to be thrown away.

Before 2022 all of North America will be one nation.


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Good Going Guys

First, congratulations and best wishes. This can only help.

To respond to John Anderson, I use to believe what you wrote. Fortunately, they do stop. I was amazed at the amount of out of town visitors (many, many from foreign countries) when I had the occassion to spend several hours each weekend at Locomotive Park. I know the visitor center has the numbers - I wish they would publish them so you too would be a believer.


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Your Right

@ John Armstrong

I must agree, putting lipstick on a pig still makes it a pig. Tourists would more than likely stay in downtown and at the hotels if there was something to do besides hanging around at the local pubs with the drunks, crackheads, and other parasites that Frank Lee Speaking often talks about. A picture in front of a mural is about as exciting as a Model train set! Hopefully the new bar or whatever goes in there will fail just like all the Romney pundits would like and we can then bulldoze the whole place for a parking lot to watch the people and traffic go by!


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: justanobody SR

Great start! please continue to develop Kingman/ Rt 66.
we have long said this is a treasure that is undeveloped.


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Ain't No Daisy

I live downtown and trust me, tourists do stop every day of the week. This is a FABULOUS step in the right direction. Now, if we could do something for the ones that stop on a Sunday ...

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Rod Stwart

No, tourists don't stop to take pictures in front of 4-year colleges or headquarters for major industry, but I'm sure they would stop at a concert or cultural event hosted by said college or patronize shops and stores supported by local people with disposable income. The majority of businesses downtown aren't open Saturday afternoons, and forget about Sundays. This town will never prosper because it will always be satisfied with just getting by. Meanwhile places like Prescott or even Havasu, which now has an ASU campus, get to laugh all the way to the bank.


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Engage Brain Before Mouth

@John Armstrong

Yeah, that's right, tourists will stop and pose for pictures in front of Kingman's 4 year college and the major industrial firm headquarters that relocate here, great idea...wait, huh?
Don't kid yourself, 66 is big business and European tourists are a huge part of that business. I know this for a fact.


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Positive Polly

I hope the people who are in charge of this project don't listen to all of the Negative Nellies who post comments here. This will be great addition to our downtown area and I am very excited about it. Tourists do stop and spend money in our town and the renovation of the Brunswick will be a step in the right direction for Kingman. Keep up the good work!

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Daniel Axe

I am glad to see this happening!

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: John Armstrong

Making downtown look nice is like putting a bandaid on broken leg of the Kingman economy.

Locals will appreciate it but tourists will continue to drive on by never seeing it. This is because there is nothing for tourists or future residents to stop for.

Kingman needs substantial attractions and industries like a four-year college, minor league sports team or major industrial firm headquarters.

Stop the paint jobs and get real serious about improving Kingman.


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: MINER NEWS

I know you do not report accidents, in town on I-40 But at 6:30 am Thursday Morning there was a FATAL traffic accident involving a LOCAL man......

. It would have been good of you to report it in the NEXT days paper, that would be TODAY-.

The man who died was a life long resident, as are his parents and grand parents ..... not some guy just driving by.

[Is this what you're looking for? http://kingmandailyminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=53686 -- Web Admin]


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Article comment by: Go For It

Finally someone has the vision to rejuinate downtown in an Old Route 66 theme. Has always seemed a natural to me but it has taken a foreigner to initiate this effort.



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