In 1996, a plan was adopted to transform the downtown Morganton community into an accessible area focused on diverse development and putting the people first. Included in the plan were a few big ideas — ideas that may have seemed out of reach at the time. These visions included creating a greenway linking the Catawba River to downtown, moving city hall into the Morganton Trading Co. building, and bringing a multiscreen theater to the northeast corner of Courthouse Square. While some of the original plan still has not been executed, all three of these visions can be seen in Morganton today. Now imagine a downtown with an outdoor rock climbing wall, a hotel and a courtyard behind Brown Mountain Bottleworks. These were just a few of the ideas included in the first draft of the 2017 downtown masterplan, which was presented to an estimated 550 citizens Wednesday night at CoMMA by Stantec’s Craig Lewis, the principal in charge of the plan. “Great communities have intense areas that are in the center where you know when you’ve arrived, and you hit what we call the ‘main main,’” Lewis said. “There are people crossing the intersections, and you know that something has changed.” Lewis said that bringing activities and structures that encompass the city’s motto of “Nature’s Playground” to downtown would be an effective way to increase vibrancy in the core.