Auburn Beautification Commission & Downtown Auburn, New York



Auburn Beautification Commission & Downtown Auburn BID Upcoming Projects

Local organizations and individuals dedicated to making the City look better are gearing up for the summer season. According to the chairman of the Auburn Beautification Commission, this season will see some of the biggest projects yet, since their beginnings three years ago.

Commission chair Jim Kent told members at a City Council meeting about the Commission’s plans for this year, which include multiple public art projects and the rehabilitation of a small city park.

“I think we’ve made tremendous progress,” Kent said of the organization, which was founded as a city entity in 2007 before branching off as an independent not-for-profit.

The Commission sponsored a sculpture contest over the winter, and Kent said they received four proposals. The winning sculpture, created by Audrey Iwanicki, will be assembled during Founders Day, June 12th at the Exchange Street Mall, where it will remain for the public to view.

Her inspiration for the piece was Theodore Case’s invention of recording sound on film, a technique that led to “talkies” or talking motion pictures, a magnificent break through in news and entertainment technology and capabilities. Ted Case is this year’s honoree for Founder’s Day, which aligned perfectly with Iwanicki’s proposal.

With the image of film hanging loose from a reel in mind, Iwanicki repurposed old tractor wheels and parts from International Harvester, one of Auburn’s industrial magnets that enjoyed huge success in inventing and selling agricultural equipment to an international customer base. These materials create another solid tie-in to Auburn’s rich history of invention, creativity— and generosity. Dick Stoyell from Moravia donated the beautiful tractor wheels to Iwanicki, for use in this project.

Iwanicki also received construction assistance from her 85-year old father, Barney Iwanicki. More assistance and discounts followed from Jon Nedrow of K & J Surplus for the combine pulley wheels; and equipment use and guidance came from Tony Marro and Brenda Cosentino from Finger Lakes Truck & Welding. Construction of the sculpture is taking place at a farm in Cayuga.

Kent said there is another project happening in the coming year, and this time the focus of the art will be a community mosaic.

The Stardust Foundation of CNY funded Jesse Kline and Dave Tobin to participate in a hands-on workshop in Philadelphia to learn how to create and install outdoor mosaics. Now they will engage the community in creating a mosaic somewhere in downtown Auburn. To learn more about the project visit: or check out their Facebook Fan Page and share your ideas about what the mosaic could look like, and where is should be installed.

The biggest ABC project for the year will be rehabilitating Osborne Park, which may begin as late as the fall. The small open space is located on the corner of Osborne and Grover streets, and currently consists of grass, a lamp post and two intersecting walkways.

Kent said the Commission is currently working with the city to find funding for the project, which could cost between $40,000 and $100,000. “It would be a major redo of the park,” he said. ABC members have also planted a butterfly garden in Hoopes Park and cleaned up Freedom Park on North Street.

Another organization working to improve the look and feel of the City’s center is the Downtown Auburn Business Improvement District. The BID has sponsored their downtown floral program for over 5 years, and it continues to expand. This year, the total number of BID flower pots will grow to 65. BID also created flower beds in Freedom Park, Market Street Park and the corner area next to Crosman’s at North Street and Genesee Street.

The floral program’s latest addition is hanging baskets. There are now 55 hanging flowers baskets mounted to the light posts in the downtown area. ABC has contributed towards the cost of this addition. Sponsorship from Auburn Irrigation, and other businesses, also plays an important role in covering the cost of this initiative. The flowers give downtown a warm, colorful, vibrant atmosphere that entices people to walk around and spend time there.

To learn more about how you can support these organizations please visit: and