La Crosse wins Great American Main Street Award!
FORT WORTH, TX (April 8, 2002) – The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced today that La Crosse, Wisconsin has earned a 2002 Great American Main Street Award for its successful efforts in downtown revitalization through historic preservation. The award was presented today at the opening session of the National Trust's 2002 National Town Meeting on Main Street in Fort Worth, which runs this week through April 10.
Created by a public-private partnership in 1990, Downtown Mainstreet, Inc. (DMI) spearheaded the creation of the City’s first comprehensive master plan for downtown – City Vision 2000 Master Plan. Based on the implementation of the Master Plan, "Historic Downtown La Crosse" has again become a powerful economic bridge to take the city and region into the new millennium.
"Against overwhelming odds, La Crosse bounced back and is more successful than ever," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust, which works to save diverse historic places and revitalize communities. "We are proud to honor La Crosse with one of this year's Great American Main Street Awards and congratulate the City's leaders for their perseverance and excellence in revitalizing their historic central business district."
La Crosse is now one of the largest National Register Commercial Historic Districts in Wisconsin containing 96 contributing buildings. Preservation efforts have led to the completion of a $2.9 million-dollar river levee redevelopment project that includes a riverwalk, recreational boat docking facility linked to the State Recreational Trail System and the implementation of 65 block faces of historic streetscaping with cobblestone sidewalks, period lights, and new signage. Through public and private investment, the downtown now has over 170 new residential units, and over 108 building and storefront façade restorations have been undertaken. Building and property values have increased $40 million throughout the TIF #6 District and the rest of downtown. With the recruitment of major high-tech corporations such as Firstlogic and CenturyTel's Midwest Regional Headquarters, employment is now at an all-time high, surpassing employment at the height of the prosperous retail years.
Other 2002 Great American Main Street Award winners are: Cedar Falls, Iowa; Milford, New Hampshire; Okmulgee, Oklahoma; Staunton, Virginia.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to protecting the irreplaceable. With more than a quarter million members nationwide, it provides leadership, education and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize communities. It has six regional offices and 21 historic sites and works with thousands of local community groups in all 50 states. For more information, visit the National Trust's Web site at www.nationaltrust.org.
WHEREAS, in 1990, a nonprofit business organization known as Downtown Mainstreet, Inc. was created to foster a "public/private partnership" for downtown redevelopment/revitalization and in 1992 led the charge to create La Crosse's City Vision 2000 Master Plan; and
WHEREAS, in 1993, the City Vision 2000 Master Plan was adopted by the Common Council and in 1994, Tax Incremental Finance District Number 6 was created to further assist in the revitalization of Historic Downtown La Crosse; and
WHEREAS, beginning with the streetscaping of Pearl Street in 1995, the City and Downtown Mainstreet, Inc., have, as partners, completed 65 block faces of streetscaping, the riverwalk, the historic levee reconstruction project, and the implementation of the wayfinding signage program; and
WHEREAS, Downtown Mainstreet, Inc. fostered the creation of the State's largest Commercial Historic District by placing 96 contributing buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and assisted with: the restoration of more than 108 building facades and building restorations, a public and private investment of over $125 million dollars, the development of 170 downtown residential dwelling units, raising property values by more than $40 million dollars throughout the entire downtown and the highest levels of employment in the downtown’s history; and
WHEREAS, the Downtown Mainstreet, Inc. Executive Director, and volunteers of the DMI Board of Directors, the La Crosse City Vision Foundation Board, and the Project Management Team have once again made Historic Downtown La Crosse and the entire La Crosse Community "a choice town" and the pride of Western Wisconsin; and
WHEREAS, much credit and accolades must also be bestowed upon the various City Departments and the Common Council for their commitment to the revitalization of Historic Downtown La Crosse; and
WHEREAS, these public and private investments of money, time, energy and talent are the hallmarks of a great community and a wise investment in La Crosse's future.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN D. MEDINGER, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LA CROSSE, do
hereby proclaim the entire year of 2002 as,
"THE YEAR OF HISTORIC DOWNTOWN LA CROSSE
- A 2002 GREAT AMERICAN MAIN STREET COMMUNITY - "
and ask the people of La Crosse to celebrate the rest of this entire year in appropriate fashion.
Dated on this 11th day of April, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Two.
John D. Medinger
MAYOR JOHN D. MEDINGER