MADISON Ind. (January 2004) The Indiana Main Street Annual
Conference has been scheduled to be held this year in Madison, according
to Madison Main Street Program Director Brad Miller. Representatives
from the state group are expected to visit the historic river town
this month to meet with Main Street officials and to discuss details
about the conference, typically held each year in the fall.
Last year, the conference was held in Terre Haute, where Main Street
representatives from around the state gathered for three days of workshops
and forums. Miller attended the conference, along with Main Street
merchants Nancy Gruner of Whimsy and Annalisa Strickland of The Princess
and the Bead. Gruner and Strickland were selected to attend the conference
compliments of Madisons Main Street Program from a drawing held
during its Oct. 30 open house.
Once again, Madison received plenty of recognition at the conference
for its substantial contribution to the states Main Street initiative
and for its historic preservation efforts. Theres been
a lot of interest in Madison and what we have to offer, Miller
said. They look to Madison as sort of the jewel in Main Streets
Also held in conjunction with the annual state Main Street Conference
this year will be the annual Cornelius OBrien Conference on
Historic Preservation, sponsored by Indiana University and the Indiana
Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.
Held concurrently with the Main Street conference for the first time
this year, the event will provide a forum for the critical examination
and discussion of historic preservation issues and for increasing
public awareness of historic preservation, officials said.
by Don Ward
Street in Madison, Ind.
Separate from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which
will hold its annual conference this year in Louisville, Ky., Indianas
Main Street Program is managed by the Indiana Department of Commerce.
Its goal is to improve all aspects of the downtown or central
business district, producing both tangible and intangible benefits,
according to the website, www.in.gov/mainstreet/browse/index.htm.
The Madison Main Street Program Board of Directors will prepare for
the coming year at an annual retreat planned this month. Board members
include: Phyllis Stevens, Gerry Michl, Bob Maile, Bob Corum, Nancy
Gruner, Dana Riddle, Beverly Armstrong, Trevor Lytle, Jim Hart, Kelly
Shelton and Barbara Daugherty.
Ann Grahn will facilitate the retreat, which was rescheduled from
November to January due to previous commitments of the organization,
including in November the state conference and in December the annual
Celebration of Giving, sponsored in conjunction with the
Well be working out long-range strategies for Main Street,
and well also be training the board of directors in their responsibilities,
said Grahn, who facilitated the Main Street Boards retreat about
three years ago and facilitated last year the Madison-Jefferson County
Public Librarys community planning committee. Grahn will assist
the board with their ideas for the coming year.
To some extent it will be a brainstorming session, said
Grahn. Projects will be fine-tuned from there, she added.
Madisons Main Street Program began initially in 1976 as a pilot
project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Madison and
two other towns, Galesburg, Ill., and Hot Springs, S.D., were selected
for the pilot program, which ultimately spawned a nationwide initiative
to spur downtown revitalization. From the program was developed a
four-point approach: organization, promotion, design and economic
restructuring, to Main Street efforts.
In 1989, Madison submitted an application to the Indiana State Main
Street Program, according to Link Ludington. Now curator of Lanier
Mansion, Ludington was one of the original board members of the program,
which became incorporated in 1994. Ludington remained on the board
and chaired several Main Street committees for several years. Several
early initiatives of the Main Street program included assisting local
property owners with storefront renovations and certified rehabilitation
of historic buildings, and with downtown promotional efforts such
as the Music in the Park series.
A tangible piece of Main Streets accomplishments was a brochure
produced in 1994 called A User-Friendly Guide to Fixing Up Old
Buildings in Downtown Madison, according to Ludington. At
the time, it was about the only thing available for widespread distribution
in Madison. That alone was a major accomplishment, Ludington
However, the most obvious result of the Main Street Programs
initiatives is the shining example Madison now sets for historic towns
across the nation.
Whatever you could list as specific things that the Main Street
Program could say they did, the other thing is the wider influence
that the (program) might have had, said Ludington. He cited
the example set for inspiring people to do things a certain way.
For more information about the Madison Main Street Program,
call Miller at (812) 265- 3270.