Rawlins, Wyo. Wins 2015 Great American Main Street Award
Recognized as Outstanding Example of Downtown Revitalization
The National Main Street Center announced today that Rawlins, Wyoming has been chosen as a 2015 Great American Main Street Award® (GAMSA) winner. Each year, the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognizes the country’s best examples of comprehensive commercial district revitalization. Winners are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants by a national jury based on successful and innovative uses of the Center’s Main Street Four-Point Approach®. Rawlins Downtown Development Authority/Main Street received the award at the 2015 National Main Streets Conference held in Atlanta.
Located about 150 miles from Cheyenne, Rawlins was founded in 1867, when surveyors of the transcontinental railroad stopped there for water. Hard times hit in the late 90s, and the downtown vacancy rate topped 50 percent. Today, this town of about 10,000 is a hot spot for small businesses, entertainment, western heritage, and award winning food.
“Rawlins is a textbook example of how the health of a Main Street is so closely tied to the health of its small businesses,” says Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Rawlins DDA/Main Street has done a tremendous job of nurturing existing businesses, attracting new enterprise and fostering a true entrepreneurial spirit. With the DDA/Main Street now set on creating more downtown housing and façade improvements, we have no doubt Rawlins will only continue to grow and thrive.”
Evidence of that can-do spirit abounds, including in the rehabilitation of the badly deteriorated Rainbow Te-ton buildings, which the Rawlins DDA/Main Street converted into an entrepreneurial center, and the Carbon Mercantile, a community-owned clothing store.
“We are honored to receive this level of recognition,” says Rawlins Mayor Robert Grauberger, “All the hard work from Pam Thayer, the Board of Directors, and the volunteers, plus the support from the businesses, the community and the City of Rawlins are the reasons we have won this award. We are very proud.”
The other two 2015 GAMSA winners are Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Montclair Center, New Jersey. 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 http://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 35 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 35-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.