Pedestrian Bridge to be Named After Former City Manager

Proposal Follows New Policy for Naming City Property

With a policy recently put into place for the naming of City properties, action was approved by the Claremont City Council to name the pedestrian bridge linking the Visitorʼs Center Green with the historic mill district after former City Manager Guy Santagate. Councilor John Simonds read into the record a letter he had written championing the proposal. “The naming of the bridge for Mr. Santagate is in recognition of his leadership and achievements as City Manager of Claremont in the successful completion of the pedestrian bridge as the first step and pivotal accomplishment of what would become the wider Monadnock Mills Revitalization Project. The concept of a pedestrian bridge was an idea that had been floated in the city for many years before Mr. Santagate came to Claremont, but he was the one to turn this goal into a reality...

“By linking the Monadnock Mill buildings on the south side of Sugar River with the parking cre- ated on the north side of the river near the Visitor Center, full development of the complex was made possible. This was accomplished with a bridge structure that enabled full utilization of the site, enhanced the historic ambiance of the district and created a popular recreational resource...
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“To take the district from historic decay to rebirth, Mr. Santagate approached the project as an economic development challenge. A major key was to identify private partners that were financially sound and had a history of success. The concept of multiple private developers in revitalizing separate buildings on a compatible timeline evolved as a model. The buildings involved were the Woven Label Building, now the Common Man Restaurant, the Wainshall Building, which currently houses Red River Computer Company and the Common Man Inn, the Peterson Building, in which a $1,000,000 investment was made, and the Sawtooth Building, a 256-car parking garage, constructed following required brownfield reme iation for contamination of the property. Additionally, the renovated Sawtooth property houses the Claremont MakerSpace, slated to open soon...”

The Visitor's Center Green has become a popular venue for community events, outdoor movies and more.

The proposal falls in line with the ideals of the Historic District Commission, which “enthusiastically supported” naming the bridge after Santagate. Several residents also spoke in favor of the naming at Wednesday nightʼs meeting, including Mike Satzow, who said he had been involved in the mill district project since the mid- 70ʼs and credited Santagate with getting the plan off the ground. “This would be a small honor,” he said. Sculptor Ernest Monte- negro said he very “heartily” supported the proposal. Others who spoke in favor of the idea included Andre Lafreniere and Kyle and David Messier; Kyle Messier said that Santagate was someone who “planned his work and worked his plan”. Josh Bushueff, with Maker- Space, said, “I think itʼs a very worthy action.

The council unanimously approved the naming request. Simonds suggested forming a committee to follow through to make sure the proper signage is installed in the spring. The Ad Hoc Committee will include Simonds, who has completed his council term and did not run for re-election, Councilor Scott Pope and a member of the community.The bridge is often referred to as a structure that connects the past with the future. It will now bear the name of the man whom many credit with orchestrating that link.


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