Milledgeville, Ga., Woodbine, Iowa and Harrisonburg, Va. Selected as 2014 Great American Main Street Award Winners

Middlesboro, Ky. and Rawlins, Wyo. Named “Ones to Watch”

The National Main Street Center announced today that Milledgeville, Ga., Woodbine, Iowa and Harrisonburg, Va. were chosen as a 2014 Great American Main Street Awards® (GAMSA) winners. Bestowed by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the GAMSA is the nation’s premier accolade for downtown revitalization achievement.

Honored during the National Main Streets Conference in Detroit, the 2014 winners have succeeded in generating economic vitality, fostering a unique sense of place and engaging key stakeholders in planning their community’s future. Under strong leadership by a local Main Street organization and in close partnership with residents, the business community and local government, these communities have excelled at both cultivating community revitalization and retaining the character and historic fabric that makes that community special.

Milledgeville Main Street has applied the National Main Street Center’s revitalization methodology to make the city of 20,000 a vibrant community in which to live, work play, and visit. Home to two colleges, a host of historic sites and gorgeous Antebellum architecture, Milledgeville has become a history lover’s paradise and a bustling commercial district. Milledgeville Main Street utilized historic preservation design guidelines, façade improvement grants and other economic incentives to attract capital downtown while preserving the district’s character.

The Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance (HDR) has led a remarkable transformation over the last decade, using the National Main Street Center’s methodology to reinvigorate its historic downtown. HDR’s formula for success included boosting the number of downtown housing units, fostering the redevelopment of significant historic buildings, cultivating its reputation as a culinary, recreation and heritage tourism destination, and creating economic incentives for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Through strong ties to local government and other stakeholders, Main Street Woodbine has generated $8 million in revitalization projects over six years, and has brought energy efficiency and façade improvements to nearly every building downtown. Woodbine is further distinguished by downtown redevelopment projects and a carefully restored stretch of the historic Lincoln Highway. The result is a vibrant, walkable, and renewed Main Street which locals and visitors alike enjoy.

For the first time in GAMSA history, the National Main Street Center also selected two programs as “Ones to Watch”—organizations that are making great strides in using the Main Street approach to revitalize their downtowns:  Middlesboro, Ky. and Rawlins, Wyo.

Discover Downtown Middlesboro is recognized for creating 100 new jobs and 13 new businesses in the last year, with plans to create 1,000 jobs in the next five years, despite a 40 percent poverty rate. Main Street Rawlins has completed 55 rehabilitation projects over its eight-year history and reduced street-level vacancies downtown from 45 percent to 10 percent.

GAMSA winners were selected by a national jury composed of former award winners, community development professionals, and governmental agency representatives who are active in community revitalization and historic preservation. 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://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/awards/gamsa/.

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 more than 30 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 30-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.



 

###


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