Milford, New Hampshire

New Hampshire | 2002 Great American Main Street Award® Winner | Posted: 4/8/2002

Milford's grassroots effort to save the threatened historic town hall was the catalyst for the preservation movement to restore the deteriorating business district. Following the successful $1.2 million restoration of the town hall Milford formed a new community based organization, the Downtown Ongoing Improvement team (DO-IT) following the approaches of the National Trust Main Street Center. DO-IT worked with public officials, residents, civic organizations, and business to reclaim downtown. Funding for the restoration came through matching grants and community fund raisers, including the sale of bricks that commemorate the past and decorate the renovated Main Street.

The Main Street program helped transform the downtown and with a new master plan will continue as an integral part of Milford's future. Half of the buildings downtown have undergone facade improvements, and occupancy rates have increased to 97 percent with the addition of 15 new businesses. Today, downtown is a desirable location for new businesses, existing businesses are thriving, historic buildings have been saved, and the town hall is once again the social and governmental center.