It was in with the new and out with the old last week in the Old Hilliard Historic District.

It was in with the new and out with the old last week in the Old Hilliard Historic District.

Efforts to enhance the district got another boost late last week when new decorative arches were erected over Main Street while the old grain silos at Center and Main Streets were demolished Saturday.

The new arches that denote gateway entrances to Old Hilliard are located near the Dairy Queen on Main Street, at the intersection of Center and Main Streets and on Avery Road at the new Norwich Township-Hilliard Joint Safety Services Building.

Hilliard transportation engineer Letty Schamp said the bulk of work on the Main Street Improvement Project is now complete.

"The work remaining is mostly decorative," Schamp said. "The signs need to be erected on the arches. The decorative railing needs to be placed around the planter beds and there are some other minor decorative features that we're still waiting to get up. This is supposed to be done this week. However, it is dependent on receipt of materials. Other than these items, the only thing left to do is some punch list work that needs to wait until warmer weather. I would say once the arch signs and planter bed railings are up, we'd call it complete for all intents and purposes."

Public Service Director Clyde R. Seidle told city council members Monday night that final demolition work on the abandoned Russell Grain Company silos in Old Hilliard was completed Saturday and all that remains now is removal of debris from the site.

A new city park is planned for the site of the circa 1940 grain silos. The city has plans for two new parks in Old Hilliard -- a First Responders Memorial Park and a Hilliard Station Park.

Add to those projects the recently completed $11-million Joint Safety Services Building at the entrance to the Franklin County Fairgrounds and Old Hilliard has received a considerable facelift in the past year.

Work on the Main Street Improvement Project began in March 2008.

The bid cost for the streetscape project was $3.215-million. Approximately $100,000 worth of change orders increased the final cost to $3.3-million.

In addition to streetscape enhancements, the project included reconstruction of Main Street, new curbs, street trees and landscaping.

The project was designed to make Old Hilliard a more pedestrian-friendly area where visitors would be encouraged to park their vehicles and stroll through the area, patronizing local restaurants and shops.

"We want Old Hilliard to become much more of a gathering place," Schamp said. "We want it to be a public space for people to come to and that it provides some impetus for business redevelopment and investment in private property."