Four Greater Minnesota cities get help in preserving historic downtown districts

Four Minnesota cities — Red Wing, Brainerd, Willmar and Faribault — will get help in preserving their downtown districts through the state’s involvement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program.

Next week, training will begin in Red Wing with experts coming from around the country, says Finance & Commerce:

The trainers will touch on everything from preserving historic building facades to diversifying the district’s funding base.

Todd Barman, program officer with the National Trust Main Street Center in Washington, D.C., is among the trainers who will come to town.

“The training is primarily targeted to the … individuals who will be implementing a Main Street effort, or at least trying to follow the four-point approach to reviving historic districts,” Barman said.

The patented “four-points” — namely, “organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring” — are the heart and soul of program.

In the past Chippewa Falls, Wis., has benefited greatly from the program, “20 façade renovations, 130 building improvement projects and a healthy economic mix of retail and business establishments,” the story says.

Minnesota has been involved with the Main Street program in the past but withdrew for funding reasons. Now the state is back on board.

Says the story:

Minnesota Main Street is getting $100,000 in 2010 to administer the program and is requesting $150,000 in 2011. Funding sources include the Minnesota Historical Society’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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