Following a successful application last fall, the South Pierce County Historical Society became a Washington Main Street Affiliate, effective Jan. 1.
Including this new organization in Eatonville, the Washington State Main Street Program’s network represents 69 towns and cities utilizing the nationally proven Main Street Four-Point Approach to revitalize their historic downtown districts across the state.
“Community pride of place is just as important as a robust economy,” said Bob Walter, president of the South Pierce County Historical Society, in a news release. “Washington Main Street provides the strategic framework, the focus on historic character, and the resources for us to achieve both."
Since 1984, the WSMSP has been helping communities revitalize the economy, appearance and identity of their downtown commercial districts in Washington. The WSMSP is a program of the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, managed under contract by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
The program network includes two tiers: Affiliate and Main Street Community. The purpose of the Main Street Affiliate level is to provide access to resources and networking opportunities for entities that have an interest in revitalizing their downtown or neighborhood historic commercial district. The WSMSP supports local grassroots economic and community development with the Main Street Four-Point Approach, a framework developed by the National Main Street Center which is utilized in 45 states and thousands of towns nationwide.
“For over 40 years, folks across the nation have used the Main Street Four Point Approach to reinvest in their historic commercial cores because downtowns hold our unique built and cultural assets,” said Jonelle McCoy, Main Street specialist with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. “Downtowns are places of business but also the places we gather as a community and make memories. I look forward to bolstering Eatonville’s revitalization efforts.”
WSMSP represents a diversity of small towns and major cities across the state. According to a 2019 study conducted by Jon Stover & Associates, one in four people live within five miles of a Washington Main Street Community. That equates to 1.9 million Washingtonians who are able to benefit from welcoming historic neighborhoods and thriving commercial districts in the places they call home.
The South Pierce County Historical Society has scheduled a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Eatonville Community Center to gather ideas, expand local awareness of the program and explore the first steps the organization will be taking as an affiliate member of the network.
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