(Hartford, CT – January 13, 2014) – Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC), the downtown revitalization and economic development non-profit, announced today that seven organizations and municipalities have been awarded a total of $70,000 in 2014 Preservation of Place grants. These grants will be used to provide Connecticut communities in Bridgeport, Canton, Essex, New London, Norwalk, the Northwest corner, and Willimantic with targeted resources to increase their capacity to plan for preservation and revitalization initiatives in their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts.
“Historic preservation and the revitalization of our Main Streets create jobs, bring vacant buildings back on the tax rolls and add value and vitality to adjacent buildings and neighborhoods,” said John Simone, CMSC President & CEO. “This year’s winners are taking steps to implement these types of positive changes by proactively planning for the growth and improvement of their downtowns.”
The Preservation of Place grant program provides a source of funding for new initiatives that can be integrated into, and leverage, comprehensive Main Street preservation and revitalization programs. The funds are meant to be flexible to meet individual community need. “The diversity of locations, from the Northwest Corner of Connecticut to New London, matched with the diversity of projects, from creative placemaking in urban open spaces to organizational and leadership development that will improve the management function in downtown, will allow each community to respond to their greatest current need, actively creating their direction of growth,” said Mr. Simone.
The winners will receive between $5,000 and $14,500 in Preservation of Place grant funds. The winning organizations and initiatives are: the Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District for the creation of a plan that will use open spaces to facilitate creating placemaking in downtown Bridgeport; the Town of Canton for the development of Collinsville Village Zoning Regulations; the Town of Essex for a Centerbrook Visioning & Action Plan; New London Main Street for an organizational and leadership development and capacity-building plan, Norwalk 2.0 for the Freese Park Artist Village Plan; the Northwest CT Regional Planning Collaborative for Active Main Street: Enlivening Village Center Public Spaces; and Thread City Development, Inc. (Willimantic) for an organizational and leadership development plan.
Since 2008, CMSC has awarded $376,130 through the Preservation of Place grant program to twenty Connecticut communities, leveraging $842,727 in local Main Street initiatives. The program receives support from the State Historic Preservation Office with funds from the Community Investment Act.