Until a few years ago, Central Avenue in the heart of Los Alamos, birthplace of the atomic bomb, was marked by closed storefronts, a run-down park and a gray, unwelcoming look.
Today, more businesses dot the street, the park is now inviting and wide sidewalks lined with lights and flowers draw walkers and bicyclists into the evening. Throughout the year, four events hosted by Los Alamos MainStreet liven up the downtown street. Restaurants and small businesses still struggle to stay afloat in this town in Los Alamos County, which is home to about 18,000 people. But the community effort to revamp the main street could encourage locals and visitors alike to stay and linger.