Honoring public servants who exemplify a deep commitment to Main Street.
Established in honor of John (“Jack”) W. Shannahan, former State Historic Preservation Officer and Director of the Connecticut Historical Commission, and the first Chair of the Connecticut Main Street Center, this prestigious award recognizes individuals from the public sector who demonstrate an exemplary standard of leadership with a deep commitment to history and Main Street revitalization.
This award is not given on an annual or competitive basis. Rather, CMSC bestows the honor in recognition of extraordinary efforts by Connecticut’s public servants to preserve our historic town centers.
The Jack Shannahan Prize for Public Service was awarded to the Legislative Commission on Aging in recognition of their Livable Communities initiative. This initiative aims to create thriving places for residents to grow up and grow older, notably by helping prepare Connecticut for the challenges presented by a rapidly increasing aging demographic through education, awareness and advocacy.
2015 – The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA)
Unique in their design and approach to reaching an underserved population of small downtown properties, CHFA contracted CMSC in 2012 to create the Come Home to Downtown program. CHFA demonstrated a long-term commitment to this program by securing multi-year funding and creating a loan fund to help building owners re-awaken their underutilized buildings. They are helping educate people about possible solutions, both directly through presenting at conferences and workshops and indirectly by enabling CMSC to provide municipal leaders with guidance and assistance through the program.
Read more about CHFA and their commitment to Connecticut’s downtowns here.
2008 – Senator Donald E. Williams & Senator Andrew Roraback
In selecting Senators Williams and Roraback, CMSC chose to honor the two public servants most responsible for the 2005 Community Investment Act – landmark legislation which created a yearly funding stream for farmland preservation, open space preservation, historic preservation and affordable housing. It is this funding source that has provided the resources for the State Historic Preservation Office to support CMSC’s Preservation of Place (POP) grant program. POP grants allow our member communities across the state to build and implement strategies that bring their historic commercial districts back to life.