LaFayette Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, administers the city’s Main Street program and works closely with the LaFayette Historic Preservation Commission on historic preservation projects.
“Good things are happening in downtown LaFayette,” Main Street and economic development director Catherine Edgemon said. “One Eleven restaurant, which opened a few months ago, has become a popular destination for residents and visitors, and organizers of the second annual Memorial Day Music Festival stepped up their efforts to grow the event and to attract a larger audience than last year’s event.”
The DDA, a music festival sponsor, worked with LaFayette Presbyterian Church to transform a under-utilized, vacant lot into a small park with trees, benches, a lighted sculpture and a mural of the LaFayette Square as it appeared around 1940, Edgemon said.
The city also completed the first phase of a streetscape project in downtown, which included sidewalk pavers, new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, landscape or brick paver islands with trees and grass, new painted crosswalks and sidewalk lamps, she said.
Each year, the National Trust and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street programs that have built strong revitalization organizations and demonstrate their ability in using the Main Street Four-Point Approach methodology for strengthening their local economy and protecting their historic buildings.
“LaFayette Historic Preservation Commission is working towards designating a local historic business district within the DDA’s area,” she said. “The designation will enable building owners in the district who meet program criteria to take advantage of tax credits and other incentives when working on their buildings. We hope these incentives will encourage more investment and redevelopment in downtown.”
The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development, which works in partnership with the National Trust Main Street Center to identify local programs that meet 10 performance standards, which set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four-Point Approach to commercial district revitalization.
Evaluation criteria determine the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as developing a mission, fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking economic progress and preserving historic buildings.
“We congratulate this year’s nationally-accredited Main Street programs for meeting our established performance standards,” said Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable.”
For more information on the national program accreditation program, visit preservationnation.org/main-street/about-main-street/the-programs/national-programs.html.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately-funded, non-profit organization, works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future; learn more at PreservationNation.org.
Established in 1980, the National Trust Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,200 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 30 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $53.6 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 448,835 net new jobs and 104,961 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 229,164 buildings, leveraging an average of $18 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.
Submitted by the LaFayette Downtown Development Authority and the National Trust Main Street Center.