Communities and organizations actively championing the revitalization and economic development of downtowns across Connecticut - through initiatives ranging from rebuilding and redesigning downtown spaces to working with local partners to provide fresh food for downtown residents- are gaining recognition for their efforts.
Initiatives and organizations from Hartford, Waterbury, Willimantic and Storrs Center and among those selected for 2013 Awards of Excellence, to be presented by the Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) at their annual awards gala, being held in Hartford for the first time on June 10. The projects and programs range from Fireball Run and iQuilt to vibrant partnerships bringing business, education, municipal and community organizations together to advance new initiatives. The recipients are:
- Main Street Partnership (sponsored by Webster Bank) - "Brass City Market on Field" Indoor Farm Market, to Brass City Harvest, Main Street Waterbury, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury Development Corporation and the City of Waterbury.
- Economic and Business Development - "Make New Friends, but Keep the Old": Retention and Relocation of Existing Businesses during Development of Storrs Center, to Mansfield Downtown Partnership, UConn, Town of Mansfield, LeylandAlliance, Milone & McBroom, Cipparone & Zaccaro, and the Business Owners of Mansfield & Storrs Center.
- Public Space Master Plan - The iQuilt Plan (Downtown Hartford), to iQuilt Partnership, City of Hartford, and Suisman Urban Design.
- Historic Preservation - End of an Era": Past Identity/Future Vision and the Portrait Project (Downtown Willimantic), to Harrison Judd, Thread City Development, Inc., Eastern CT State University, Windham Textile & History Museum, Town of Windham, TBS Properties, Windham Region Chamber of Commerce, ArtSpace Windham Gallery.
- Downtown Event - Fireball Run 2012 (Downtown Waterbury), to Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce, City of Waterbury, and Main Street Waterbury.
- Business Owner of the Year (sponsored by Webster Bank) - Dr. Richard A. Fichman, Fichman Eye Center, in the Upper Albany Main Street District, Hartford
In addition, the 2013 Nationally Accredited Main Street Programs - Simsbury Main Street Partnership, Upper Albany Main Street (Hartford), and Main Street Waterbury will be recognized, and The Connecticut Light and Power Company Award for Outstanding Contributions to Main Street Revitalization will be presented to longtime activitst Toni A. Gold of Hartford.
"Connecticut's city centers are critical drivers of commerce and competitiveness," said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. "I applaud the 2013 award winners for their efforts to make Connecticut's downtowns thrive. The collaboration to create more livable communities is to the benefit of all Connecticut's residents."
Connecticut Main Street Center is a statewide nonprofit that inspires great Connecticut downtowns, Main Street by Main Street. Its mission is to be the champion and leading resource for vibrant and sustainable Main Streets as foundations for healthy communities.
The Connecticut Main Street Awards of Excellence, established a decade ago, recognize outstanding projects, individuals and partnerships in community efforts to bring traditional downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts back to life, socially and economically. Submissions were judged on criteria which included innovation, replication, representation, partnerships utilized, and outcomes.
Awards will be presented at the 2013 Connecticut Main Street Awards Gala on June 10th at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Downtown Hartford. Major Sponsors include Fuss & O'Neill, Webster Bank, Baywater Properties, Travelers, and Renaissance Downtowns.