Birmingham - Main Street Alabama celebrated Designated Communities successes on a special day in honor of the organization, as proclaimed by Governor Robert Bentley. Main Street Alabama’s President and State Coordinator, Mary Helmer, announced the winners of the Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence today in Birmingham with Matt Wagner, Vice President of Revitalization Programs of the National Main Street Center, and Donovan Rypkema, Principal of PlaceEconomics. The event was sponsored by Alabama Municipal Electric Authority and took place at the Florentine Building in downtown Birmingham. A total of 37 awards were given during the banquet.
“It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding community projects, leaders and volunteers,” stated Mary Helmer, President and State Coordinator of Main Street Alabama. “Todays award winners represent the most innovative downtown revitalization projects in our Main Street Alabama communities. The effort and leadership it takes to move these projects from concept through completion is tremendous and we are thrilled to acknowledge such achievements. It is with great emotion and gratitude that we present the first Alice M. Bowsher Award to Alice Bowsher, herself, whom every community in our program owes a great deal. Bowsher was the driving force behind the relaunch of Main Street in the state. Moving forward, this special award will be reserved for individuals who Innovate, Implement and Inspire others in Alabama for the benefit of the entire state we all call home. We are especially honored to be presenting these awards on Main Street Alabama Day, as proclaimed by Governor Bentley.”
Awards are as follows:
Main Street Alabama Community Awards:
Gadsden – Buster Porch
Main Street Alabama Awards of Excellence:
Excellence in Business Development:
Gadsden – Sign & Façade Improvement Grants
Excellence in Business Promotion:
Gadsden – Elf on a Shelf
Excellence in Architectural Design:
Gadsden - BLU. Chop House
Excellence in Planning & Public Space:
Gadsden – 5th Street Market
The Awards of Excellence Banquet is a highlight of the aLABama Downtown Laboratory, a three-day conference that bolsters the efforts of communities participating in the nationally acclaimed Main Street program or those communities interested in downtown revitalization. The third annual event drew 119 community leaders from 44 cities across the state.
Main Street Alabama has 20 Designated Programs and 29 Downtown Network Communities. Alexander City, Anniston, Athens, Birmingham, Columbiana, Decatur, Dothan, Elba, Eufaula, Florence, Fort Payne, Gadsden, Heflin, Jasper, Monroeville, Montevallo, Opelika, Oxford, Selma and Wetumpka each have Designated Programs and new communities will be added annually. Applications to become a Designated Program will be available in Spring 2017. Until then, communities interested in downtown revitalization can participate in Main Street Alabama's Downtown Network.
Main Street Alabama focuses on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities. Economic development is at the heart of our efforts to revitalize downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.