Frank Downie has lived in in Hamilton for 62 years. He is an active volunteer for many organizations in Hamilton, including the Community Meal Center at the Presbyterian Church and The Fitton Center for Creative Arts. Frank also serves as a member of the 17Strong Advisory Board, an initiative focused on increasing communication and connectivity within Hamilton’s 17 neighborhoods. As a resident and passionate champion of Lindenwald, Frank chairs the neighborhood’s community organization PROTOCOL (People Reaching Out To Others; Celebrate Our Lindenwald).
QWhat is your favorite part about Hamilton?
AThe people in the community. Lindenwald neighbors are so friendly and truly support one another. We enjoy visiting with our neighbors and spending the evening talking on the front porch, or porching, as we like to call it.
QWhat inspires you to be part of the community?
ABrandon Saurber motivated me to begin volunteering. Our families know each other, but we never talk on the phone, so when he called me five years ago, I knew it was for something important. He wanted me to be a part of the Sense of Place initiative. They needed someone to champion the Lindenwald neighborhood and get the people engaged. Hamilton was changing and this was an opportunity to be part of that positive change.
QWhat do you envision for the future of Hamilton?
ATurning transient neighborhoods into more progressive ones. Interacting with neighbors - I like to see a lot of little neighborhoods come together and talk to each other.
“Frank Downie is the heart and soul of Lindenwald and PROTOCOL. As a community volunteer, he truly embodies the spirit of the neighborhood and the Hamilton community at large.”
QWhat do you think is the “hidden gem” in our community?
AOur renovated downtown. I work in Cincinnati and my co-workers and customers have preconceived notions of Hamilton that are no longer true. I show them pictures of what downtown Hamilton looks like today and they are amazed. I love historic renovation and would like to see MORE of it in each of our neighborhoods.
QIf you could complete one community project without any limitations, what would it be?
ARehabilitate the Benninghofen Mill, which is located in the heart of the historic Lindenwald business district. I would maintain its architectural integrity but add apartments, retail, and office space.