Main Street News - July 2008

Download PDF

Main Street News Cover – 2008/07

Feature Article:

The Elgin Tower Story: Saving an Art Deco Landmark

By Kirk Lawler

The Elgin Tower, a 15-story Art Deco building built right before the stock market crash of 1929, survived many ups and downs throughout history. Built for the Home National and Home Trust and Savings Bank, by 1932 the company was in receivership and soon after the opulent accents that made the ground floor a sensation were sold to pay creditors. The economic boom following WWII and resulting high occupancy was short lived as Art Deco was going out of style. In 1978, William Stickling saved the building from demolition and committed to a half-million dollar renovation in 1997. Hear the preservation story and renovation work that is going on still in 2008 and become inspired to save your own local landmarks.

Preparing for Streetscape Construction

By Donna Dow, CMSM

The fourth article in Donna’s series about the streetscaping process and Durant (Okla.) Main Street’s lessons learned focuses on preparing for construction. There is a lot of planning that happens between the design and construction phases. You will need to work with your design consultant to decide on the timing of the work and collaborate with the utility company; enter into the bidding phase, which will require specific procedures if you are using federal funds; check references of construction companies and chose the best one for your project; and then prepare local businesses and customers for the pending street disruption. Planning is key for making your project run as smoothly as possible.

Shop Talk: Listen for Success

By Margie Johnson

This fourth column explores the value of listening and how important it is for business owners to be good communicators. This article points out effective listening strategies and some do’s and don’ts to help people become great listeners.

Sharp Rise in Shopping Center Vacancies

By Stacy Mitchell

In the first half of 2008, the number of shuttered big-box stores has expanded dramatically with chain retailers anticipating the closure of more than 6,500 outlets by year’s end. Consumer demand has not kept up with unabated pace of shopping center construction. Learn more about this trend and find out what it means to your community.

Network Notes

State Center, Iowa, is home to “Remarkable Row,” a series of historic architectural gems, as well as Watson’s Historic Grocery Museum that looks just like it did when it was open for business in 1895; HOPE VI Main Street grants are available; apply for a scholarship to form-based code classes; Main Street Network members can set up an online donations page through the National Trust for Historic Preservation for free!