Cape Girardeau, Mo., Montclair Center, N.J. and Rawlins, Wyo. Selected as 2015 Great American Main Street Award Winners
Bestowed by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the GAMSA is the nation’s premier accolade for downtown revitalization achievement. The awards were presented at the 2015 National Main Streets Conference in Atlanta.
The 2015 GAMSA winners have succeeded in making their towns an exciting place to live, work, play and visit through implementing the Main Street Center’s comprehensive methodology for downtown revitalization. In each locality, a local Main Street organization has collaborated with residents, business owners and other local partners to revitalize their district by promoting the assets that makes that community special.
“This year’s GAMSA winners, though diverse in size and geography, show that Main Streets are hotbeds for innovation and creativity, said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “We see this great convergence of old and new in these places. Historic commercial buildings are being repurposed to house the arts, high-tech businesses and entrepreneurs, bringing new jobs and energy to the district. Main Streets are as relevant as ever.”
The Montclair Center BID has transformed Montclair Center from a sleepy bedroom community for New York commuters to a buzzing restaurant, retail and arts scene. A historic church converted into quirky, high-end office space has helped draw creative businesses and housing downtown with more mixed use development on the way.
Old Town Cape, Inc. has brought the business, government and university partners together to produce a creative corridor downtown and reinvigorate the riverfront of the largest city in southeastern Missouri. Historic rehabilitation projects have created housing, a technology incubator and coworking space, and performing arts space.
Once described as a place that rolled up the sidewalks at night, downtown Rawlins now draws locals and visitors to its wealth of local businesses, entertainment and western heritage. The conversion of badly deteriorated historic buildings into an entrepreneurial center, and the opening of a clothing store crowd-funded by the community show the can-do spirit is alive and well in Rawlins.
The National Main Street Center also selected Fond du Lac, Wisconsin as “One to Watch”—a place that is making great strides in using the Main Street approach to revitalize its downtown.
GAMSA winners were selected by a national jury composed of former award winners, community development professionals, and governmental agency representatives who are active in community revitalization and historic preservation. Criteria for winning include: strength of the Main Street in creating an exciting place to live, work, play and visit; commitment to historic preservation; implementation of model partnerships, and demonstrated success of the Main Street Four-Point Approach.®
To learn about previous GAMSA winners, visit mainstreet.org
The Main Street Four-Point Approach® is a proven methodology for historic preservation-based community revitalization. It was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation more than 30 years ago and has been implemented by more than 2,000 communities throughout the U.S.
About The National Main Street Center
Established in 1980 as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Main Street Center works with a nationwide network of communities to encourage preservation-based economic revitalization that utilizes the Main Street Four-Point Approach.® The Center participated in the renewal of more than 2,000 older commercial districts during its 30-year history. Now a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Main Street Center provides information, offers technical assistance, holds conferences and workshops, and conducts research and advocacy on critical revitalization issues.