Bass Alley receives some new shine


Human beings are naturally drawn to light.

This is part of the thought process behind festoon/cafe lighting, which is being adopted by more and more downtowns across America. Not only have downtowns gotten into the act, but so has Chick-fil-A, which rolls out festoon/cafe lighting at various locations around the holidays.


Downtown Milledgeville joined the party three years ago, installing festoon/cafe lighting in the alleyway between City Hall and the new annex. Since that time, the spot has become popular as an Instagram backdrop and photo shoot locale...

Now, a second downtown alleyway – "Bass Alley" – has been outfitted with the lighting. Bass Alley runs between the main drag of Hancock Street and the parking deck. For anyone who may or may not be interested, Edward Ezekiel "Zeke" Bass was a prominent Milledgeville businessman and property owner around the turn of the 20th century.

Even though the Bass Alley lights were erected this month, the grant money for the project actually was awarded by Georgia Power prior to the pandemic, proving that grant projects don't always move at the speed of light.

The Milledgeville/Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce was the receiver of the grant, and the Chamber coordinated on the project with Milledgeville Main Street. The grant was in the amount of $5,000, with the total project ultimately costing $5,800. The Milledgeville Downtown Development Authority chipped in with the $800 extra dollars.

"Just providing light anywhere around downtown is very important, not just from making people feel safer but also for the aesthetics," Main Street Director Carlee Schulte said. 

So, what's next for downtown? Well, Schulte said that she is currently working with Visit Milledgeville (the local conventions & visitors bureau) on "bringing more art to downtown Milledgeville" in the form of murals. Also, Schulte would like to have the third downtown alley, located between North Wayne Street and the parking deck, outfitted with festoon/cafe lighting at some point down the road.

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