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Indiana Main Street Conference

Madison businesses garner
multiple state awards

State, federal officials converge
in Madison for conference

By Don Ward
Editor

MADISON, Ind. (November 2004) – Indiana Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis on Oct. 29 announced that Madison received two Indiana Main Street 2004 Downtown Revitalization Awards, which recognize local communities for their achievements in downtown revitalization and development.

Committee Award

Photo by Don Ward

The Calendar Committee of the Madison Main Street Program receives its award Oct. 29 from former First Lady Judy O’Bannon (third from left) and Indiana Main Street Director Mark McConaghy (far right). The group members include (from left) Ellie Smith, Lucy Dattilo, Wanda Gross, Nancy Gruner, Deana Williams and Annalisa Strickland.

At the 2004 Indiana Main Street Conference, held in Madison, the city received the Innovation Award for their “Shop and Dine for Charity” event and the Adaptive Reuse Project Award for the redevelopment of the Lodge Brothers Apartment Complex.
“These awards recognize the effort, and creative approaches that make our cities and towns the best they can be,” said Davis, who serves as the director of the Indiana Department of Commerce, which oversees the Main Street program. “They honor the hard work of our partners who are dedicated to improving the urban centers, downtowns and hearts of our communities.”
Madison received the Innovation Award for the “Shop and Dine for Charity” event, a semi-annual event designed to encourage spending in Madison’s downtown business establishments, enhance the image of downtown merchants and support local charities. The event was organized by the Calendar Committee of the Madison Main Street Program. More than 35 downtown businesses donated a percentage of their sales from the most recent event held in August, raising $2,000 for 25 different individually chosen charities. Nancy Gruner, president of the Madison Main Street program, accepted the award on behalf of business merchants, charities and other event partners.

Birdhouse Award

Photo by Don Ward

The Birdhouse owners Kelly and David Misamore (center) accept their Business of the Year Award from Judy O’Bannon and Mark McConaghy.

The renovation of the Lodge Brothers Apartment complex received the Adaptive Reuse Project Award, which is given to a project that brings a historic downtown building back into use, or adapts the building for a new use. Through the work of Mike Flint, a developer and Madison native, the Lodge Brothers renovation project included the restoration of a former furniture and hardware store into luxury apartments in the historic commercial district. The building is now home to 12 apartments and one retail space, which houses the Madison Coffee and Tea Co.
Madison residents garnered two additional recognitions. The National Park Service Underground Railroad Award was presented by James Hill to Madison’s Georgetown District, an area of downtown that has been recognized as part of the Underground Railroad movement.
Historic Madison Inc. executive director John Staicer accepted the award on behalf of HMI, which recently bought the A.M.E. Church in Georgetown with the help of grant and other funding. HMI plans to renovate the building into a museum.
Hill, who represented the 13-state National Underground Railroad “Network to Freedom” initiative, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Jae Breitweiser, president of Historic Eleutherian College in Lancaster, for her role in developing the college into a museum dedicated to Underground Railroad activities.

Project Award

Photo by Don Ward

Mike Flint (right) accepts his Adaptive Use Project Award from Mark McConaghy.

Breitweiser and Staicer join a group of other local residents on Saturday for a historic marker unveiling ceremony at HMI’s Windle Auditorium along with state and local officials. Pamela J. Bennett, director of the Indiana Historical Bureau, which oversees the state’s historic marker program, made the presentation. The marker will go up in the Georgetown area of downtown Madison to interpret Underground Railroad activities that occurred there before and during the Civil War. Seven area organizations contributed money to pay for an eventual three markers that will go up in the area.
A total of nine awards for downtown revitalization were presented at the conference, which for the first time included a collaboration between the Indiana Main Street, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology. Also presented were six Indiana Historic Preservation Awards. Former First Lady Judy O’Bannon provided opening remarks and later was presented the 2004 Outstanding Hoosier President’s Award, only the fifth such awarded since its inception in 1999. Jon Smith, director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources-Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, presented the award and noted the previous winners included Madison’s Ann Windle (2000) and John Galvin (2003).
O’Bannon praised the efforts of community-minded people around the state who “care enough about their communities to do something about preserving them.”
O’Bannon hosts an Indiana Public Television show produced in Indianapolis called “Communities Building Community” that is now entering its second season. (For details on local TV air times, visit: www.wfyi.org.)

Marker Award

Photo by Don Ward

A large group of Madison area people took part in the Oct. 30 marker unveiling at Windle Auditorium. The group included Historic Madison Inc. executive director John Staicer (center) and (from far right) retired HMI director John Galvin, State Rep. Markt Lytle and Jae Breitweiser, president of Historic Eleutherian College Inc.

Local Main Street programs may nominate communities, organizations or individuals for awards. The Indiana Main Street Council chooses the winners.
The Indiana Main Street program, established in 1986, provides Indiana’s communities with technical assistance in downtown revitalization, focusing on economic redevelopment within the context of historic preservation. It is the largest program of its kind in the country, with more than 160 cities and towns participating.
Indiana Main Street operates under the direction of the Indiana Department of Commerce, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. For more information on this program, contact the Indiana Main Street Division at 317.232.8912 or visit the Commerce website at: www.indianacommerce.com.

• Story supplemented by information provided by the Indiana Department of Commerce press office.

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