CRI moves downtown
“Things’ll be great when you’re downtown.”
That’s a line from an old Petula Clark song that seems to fit what’s been happening lately with the Carpet and Rug Institute. After 40 years of operating out of an office building on College Drive, we’ve moved into a new home. Downtown.
We’re actually occupying one half of the old historic U.S. Post Office building that was completed back in 1909 and which most recently housed the Dalton Public Schools administration offices. Now we’re sharing the three-story office building with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, which has also recently changed its address to Hamilton Street. Their staff makes great neighbors, by the way.
It’s a pleasant change.
Our former building, which was officially opened during a ribbon cutting ceremony back in 1972 by then-Gov. Jimmy Carter, certainly had a lot of pluses. It was a beautifully designed building, which actually won quite a number of architectural awards. The setting was secluded, quiet and wooded. And I did love being able to view wildlife outside my windows.
But there’s no doubt that being in the historic former post office downtown is just where we need to be.
I, for one, really appreciate the history associated with this building. It was designed by James Knox Taylor, who was the supervising architect for the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington, D.C. It’s quite beautiful, and was constructed in classic Georgian style. It served as a post office until 1965 and then as the headquarters for the DPS until they relocated to City Hall a number of years ago. The city has done an incredible job restoring this Dalton city landmark.
The space here is much more conducive for doing business. It’s much more compact. My secretary’s office is just two steps from my office door, and her assistant’s is just four steps down from hers. Our communications team is grouped together on the third floor, and our technical team is housed on the garden level. So it provides a great deal of efficiencies in terms of conducting business.
And then there’s the plus of being downtown itself. I’m loving the fact that I can walk out the door and within minutes be at any of a dozen or so restaurants without having to get in my car. That’s a welcomed change. We have so many great eating places downtown, and we plan to take advantage of that fact when we host lunch-hour meetings for our members. We’ll be making sure that all of the restaurants that cater lunches have an opportunity to cater ours when we invite board members and others in for working lunches.
But maybe most importantly, I see our presence and the presence of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce in the heart of town as a modest, but significant, driver for the downtown area. We all want downtown Dalton to be as vibrant as possible. With organizations like CRI and the chamber located on the main street, more people — be they visitors, clients or members — will have a reason to come downtown where “everything’s waiting for you.”
Werner Braun is president of the Dalton-based Carpet and Rug Institute.
CRI moves downtown
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