Great American Main Streets Award Winner 2011 | Beloit WI
We, Ana and I had the opportunity to attend this years national Main Streets conference held in Des Moines a couple weeks ago. While it was a great conference with much to talk about I’ll mention just two.
First… Downtown Beloit Wisconsin | Great American Main Streets Award Winner for 2011!
There are literally thousands of participating community downtowns across the country and thirty six here in Wisconsin alone. Each year the National Trust For Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program recognizes just five communities for this recognition. The National Trust and Main Street use this opportunity to recognize the exemplary work of community downtowns who are getting it right, tell their stories and serve as an example for other communities. While they consider many individual factors in general what they look for is…
- Sustained, long-term effort. Indeed, Beloit has not exhibited some single isolated grand effort but rather has demonstrated repeatedly and over many years that this is an ongoing and concerted effort that has resulted in example after example of how Beloit’s downtown has been reinvesting and renewing it’s historic downtown. These examples are numerous, obvious and touched on here on this website and elsewhere.
- Breadth of initiatives, participation and successes. As opposed to more narrow focused, single pet-project initiatives, has the community exhibited broad ranging projects and community involvement. And here again, Beloit has demonstrated a willingness to address a broad gamut of needs to revitalize it’s downtown. So while the DBA (Downtown Business Association) has led the charge there is considerable support by city government and broad ranging civic groups and community members in making positive changes. Further, downtown improvements have spanned infrastructure redevelopment, communications and downtown organizations development, merchant and public programs development, inter-agency cooperation and much more.
Congratulations to Kathleen Bratz, (dir. of DBA), the individual downtown business owners, the neighbors and broader community that shop and hang out in our increasingly cool and vibrant, historic, center-city downtown.
Secondly… Sustainability, downtowns and changing consumer trends.
The National Main Streets Conference was two weeks ago in Des Moines. Opening keynote, Ed McMahon (Senior Fellow for the Urban Land Institute) gave a wonderful presentation on sustainability, our downtowns and current shifts in consumer trends, public policy etc.
(go to time stamp 01:28:00 to see Mr. McMahon’s presentation)