“Nevermind a local treasure, this is a national and an international treasure. From 1877, this is a sculpture by famed sculptor Franklin Simmons.”

“I like calling this the shining crown of the New Auburn neighborhood. As you are coming across the bridges or just looking up at New Auburn, this building, with its gothic tower, sits like the crown on the head of a beautiful queen.”

“Not only did the builders create a state-of-the-art mill building, they laid out and created a street grid and a fully integrated, planned manufacturing village. Today, what we know as ‘New Auburn’ was known as Barkerville.”

“What’s noteworthy is that it’s an exceptional example of Art Deco architecture…(but) it was part of a movement to start building safe and healthy school buildings. It was built to be fireproof, and that was the great concern at the time.”

“This was literally Auburn’s shoe industry-incubator building. All the shoe factories that went on to build their own large separate factories and mills, they all started in the Roak Block.”

“This is a good example of not going by dates on buildings, but looking to the architectural type to know the year it was built. . . . It was built in 1889; 1875 was the year the company was founded.”

“This building, too, is a true architectural eclectic, meaning it’s a transitional architectural type. This shows early Romanesque features, but you see Italianate features as well.”

“This building demonstrates both Italianate architectural features — with the elongated windows and arched hoods on the second story — and the 2nd Empire French mansard roof treatment. It’s what we call an ‘eclectic.'”

“You have to actually stop and walk up to it on foot to really appreciate the extraordinary architectural detail. Most importantly, you can read the names of all those young men who sacrificed their lives.”

“Because the courthouse was located in Auburn, it’s really what elevated Auburn to a new level of prominence, not only as an industrial city but as a professional, metropolitan city.”

“It’s a high style, Romanesque-revival architectural type. It was designed in many ways to be the pre-eminent archtectural gem on Court Street when it was constructed.”

AUBURN — Alan Manoian doesn’t just talk the talk about the many benefits of downtown Auburn — he walks the walk.

Sometimes, he walks the walk once a week.

Manoian, Auburn’s economic development specialist, is spending several nights this summer giving walking tours and hosting design sessions in the hopes of remaking the way people think about Auburn’s riverfront.

“This city is a treasure house of economic resources and assets,” Manoian said. “Let’s start recognizing them, become more conscious of them and start weaving them together. We can make this a very powerful, high-quality place.”

He opens a new front in that effort on Wednesday, July 23, with an organizational meeting to create a Downtown Auburn Fine Arts and Humanities Festival.

“People need to have a joyful, human experience downtown to see what can happen,” he said. “I keep talking about that, so I finally decided to make one on my own.”

With that in mind, we asked Manoian to pick 10 spots that he feels best reflect the hidden value in Auburn that he sees.

He gave us 10 — 11 if you count the sculpture of Edward Little that sits near the front entrance the high school. It’s not downtown, but is included here as a bonus.

 Of course, the best way to take any tour is live. So take this article with the map and photos and go. It’s a decent walk, 1.5 miles from Court Street south to New Auburn, but Manoian thinks it should give people who walk it a fresh outlook on the city.

Better still, go to the first stop at Court Street Baptist Church, whip out your smartphone or tablet and go to SunJournal.com/AuburnTreasures, where you will find a more detailed audio description of each sight, narrated by Manoian, with history and unusual facts.

Or, you can sit back and take the tour, featuring photos and Manoian’s audio descriptions, from wherever you are — work or home — via your computer and the Sun Journal link.

“We have it all here, and when you weave these extraordinary heritage assets with our natural assets, it a very attractive package,” Manoian said.

What are your Auburn ‘treasures’?

In your humble opinion, is Alan Manoian’s list lacking some of your favorite Auburn buildings or features?

Let us know your favorites and we’ll feature them and Manoian’s take on them in an upcoming B section on a Sunday. Send them to Scott Taylor at orange_me on Twitter, or to his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CityNewsSJ) or to the Sun Journal’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sunjournal.

Take the tour on your smartphone

You can hear much more history about each of Alan Manoian’s top 10 (OK, 11) downtown Auburn landmarks by going to SunJournal.com/AuburnTreasures. Listen at your desk or, better yet, load the audio tour into your smartphone and walk the actual route.


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