Main Street Center Announces Winners of 2005 Awards


Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) announced the winners of its 2005 Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization. “We have developed this award program to stimulate, encourage and support our Designated Connecticut Main Street communities,” says CMSC Executive Director, John Simone. This program, which includes awards in the areas of public-private partnerships, building rehabilitation, special events, preservation, design and business incentives and volunteer service, was created to recognize the exceptional accomplishments of designated Main Street programs and their partners, as they work together to achieve profound positive transformation of their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.

Jurors for the CMSC Awards Program included Kathy LaPlante, Director of New Hampshire Main Street; Frederick C. Biebescheimer, FAIA, Architect; and Robert Gregson, Creative Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. Gregson has called the CMSC Awards program “thoughtfully developed.” Fellow juror Fred Biebescheimer pointed out that “the skills to do a good nomination are the same skills you need in your community to tell your own story,” and the work that has been done on this year’s submissions provides Main Street Communities with excellent marketing and public relations material. Recipients of the 2005 awards include New London Main Street, Simsbury Main Street Partnership, Upper Albany Main Street, Main Street Waterbury, Friends of Main Street-Winsted, The University of Hartford, and The Hartford Courant. Awards will be presented at the CMSC Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation on Monday, June 6, 2005 at 5:30 p.m. at The Palace Theater and Waterbury Arts Magnet School in Downtown Waterbury.

Connecticut Main Street Center is the state’s leading resource for cities and towns seeking to comprehensively revitalize their “main street” districts. CMSC, a non-profit organization whose major sponsors are the Connecticut Light & Power Company/Yankee Gas and the state of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, is a member of the respected National Main Street network and is committed to bringing Connecticut’s commercial districts back to life socially and economically. Through membership in CMSC’s Downtown Resource Center or Designation as a Connecticut’s Main Street program, any community can participate in and benefit from CMSC’s statewide and national networks, access to information, technical assistance and advocacy. Current Designated Connecticut Main Street Communities include New London, Niantic, Norwich, Portland, Rockville, Simsbury, the Upper Albany neighborhood of Hartford, Waterbury, Winsted, and Windsor.

Since the Connecticut Main Street program began in 1995, participating communities have generated over $400 million in public and private reinvestment in their downtowns. Over the same time, 287 net new businesses have opened and 1,821 net new jobs have been created. This represents $75.25 of reinvestment for every $1 spent on a local Main Street program, making the Main Street initiative one of the most successful economic development programs in the country.

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