Bath, Maine Honored with 2012 Great American Main Street Award

National Trust for Historic Preservation Praises Excellence in Revitalization at Annual Conference

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced today that Bath, Me. was chosen as a 2012 Great American Main Street Awards® (GAMSA) winner. Recognized as a leader in implementing the Main Street Four-Point Approach®, embracing sound historic preservation principles and building strategic partnerships, Main Street Bath was honored at the Main Street Awards Ceremony during the National Main Streets Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

The National Trust Main Street Center’s annual GAMSA award recognizes exceptional accomplishments in revitalizing the nation’s historic Main Street commercial districts. Using the Main Street Approach as its guide, Main Street Bath has helped the city’s downtown use its shipbuilding heritage to stay relevant in the face of competition from area big box stores, and to overcome the disadvantage of a highway overpass that diverted traffic away from the commercial district. Downtown Bath is booming again, thanks to a strong team of partners, a lively mix of independent retailers in historic storefronts, a “can-do” spirit and a clear sense of what makes Bath unique.

“Bath is an excellent example of how, through partnerships and perseverance, a community can overcome seemingly overwhelming obstacles—in this case, the Route 1 viaduct, and competition from “big boxes”—to create a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown,” says Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “Main Street Bath has given residents and tourists alike a host of reasons to exit the highway and explore its diverse businesses, wealth of historic architecture and authentic maritime heritage.”

The other four 2012 winners are: Culpeper, Va.; Jacksonville, Ill.; Valley Junction/West Des Moines, Iowa and Washington, Mo. Winners were selected by a national jury composed of former award winners, community development professionals, governmental agency representatives who are active in community economic development and historic preservation. To learn about previous GAMSA winners, visit http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/awards/gamsa/.

GAMSA winners demonstrate exemplary achievement in the process of strengthening their downtowns and commercial districts based on the following selection criteria:

  • Active involvement of the public and private sectors;
  • Broad-based community support for the revitalization effort;
  • Quality of achievements over time;
  • Innovative solutions to significant problems;
  • Commitment to historic preservation;
  • Evolving track record of successful commercial district revitalization;
  • Comprehensive revitalization effort: activity in all four points of the Main Street Four-Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization;
  • Economic impact of the revitalization program; and
  • Successful small business development. 

The Main Street Four-Point Approach® is a proven methodology for historic preservation-based economic development that was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation more than 30 years ago and has been used in more than 2,000 communities throughout the U.S.

 

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
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