Princeton politician gives downtown buildings a fresh look

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – A local politician is spending his free time painting buildings in Downtown Princeton.

Princeton is home to many historic buildings, plenty of which have been due for a fresh coat of paint. Some of them are more than a century old, and haven’t been painted since their construction.

To help change that, over the past few years, Mercer County Commissioner and Community Connections Executive Director Greg Puckett has been spending his free time giving a splash of color to downtown, hoping to brighten up the area. 

“Change of color changes opinions and minds about a particular place. And over the last few years we’ve seen this area really grow,” Puckett said.

Puckett started painting buildings downtown roughly seven years ago, and in that time he’s since purchased a bucket truck and has painted more than a dozen buildings and multiple murals around downtown Princeton. 

“I’m blessed to be able to have purchased a bucket truck a few years ago. This is what I do typically after hours. A lot of people in the community have donated money for paint, so they see the progress that we’ve been making.”

Puckett says that the fresh paint adds a much-needed scenery change to downtown. That combined with all the new businesses makes driving through Princeton a very different experience compared to what it was years ago. 

“People feel comfortable coming down. They feel it’s a more welcoming place than it once was. And if you go back and you look at pictures from seven years ago, this place was a little rough. So now it’s getting that fresh coat of paint, fresh ideas, and I think it helps a lot.”

Recently Puckett finished painting the New Kids on the Block Building, giving it a fresh, new blue color. And is he now painting the Excel Prosthetics building. And he’s still planning to paint even more buildings in the near future. 

“It’s just a hobby, it helps bring the town back. And add that to some of the murals in the mix, and I think we’re getting something really good. Hopefully by fall, we’ll have a nice, new, fresh look coming into downtown Princeton.”

Other iconic buildings Puckett has painted include the downtown theater, a veteran’s building, and a few other local businesses. All in all, Puckett has painted 15 buildings and 10 murals so far.

Most of the paint used for the projects was donated by the community.