WASHINGTON — The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced it has selected Detroit to host the 2014 National Main Streets Conference. The annual conference brings together practitioners of the National Trust’s proven Main Street Four-Point Approach to downtown revitalization, which since 1977, has been used by more than 2,000 communities nationwide to stimulate more than 235,000 building rehabilitation projects and create 475,000 jobs. The conference theme, “Works in Progress,” reflects optimism in Main Street’s potential to build on cultural and heritage assets to overcome economic challenges, as exemplified by ongoing efforts in Detroit.
“We chose to come to Detroit because we believe this city offers important lessons on resilience, innovation and hard work,” said Valecia Crisafulli, acting director of the National Main Street Center. “Detroit and the entire state of Michigan are rich in examples of civic leaders, citizens and business owners overcoming the obstacles facing downtowns and capitalizing on their advantages while preserving their heritage. We are excited to learn from and share ideas with revitalization practitioners that are on the front lines of downtown redevelopment in difficult economic times.”
“I’m very pleased that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has selected Detroit as the site of its 2014 National Main Streets Conference,” said Detroit Mayor, Dave Bing. “The redevelopment of downtown Detroit and our historic neighborhoods is well underway, and we look forward to a conference that will allow us to showcase our city.”
The conference will be co-hosted by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s Michigan Main Street Center. “We’re excited to share the many positive things going on in downtown Detroit and in downtowns across Michigan,” said MSHDA Executive Director Scott Woosley. “Michigan Main Street, Oakland County Main Street, the City of Detroit and many others have been doing some amazing work to revitalize our state’s downtowns and neighborhoods. We’re thrilled to see this work brought to the national stage.”
Both the Michigan Main Street Center and Main Street Oakland County have used the Main Street approach to breathe new life in historic downtowns all across Michigan, resulting in over $674 million in private investment and creating nearly 8,000 new jobs. To learn from the state’s success, conference participants will have the opportunity to tour several nearby Main Street communities and engage with their leaders.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach is a proven methodology that empowers communities to utilize their distinctive assets, such as their independent businesses and historic character, to revive their commercial districts, strengthen local economies and increase civic engagement.