Field Notes

We’ve organized Field Notes by the four points of the Main Street Approach. These correspond with the four elements of real estate value – Economic, Physical, Civic, and Social.

Downtown Areas We Have Visited

Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the New Economic Development Audience

Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and the New Economic Development Audience

Today the results from the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Rural Communities Pilot Program were released. Main Street America has positioned itself well at the center of these important discussions, continuing many years of excellent work with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Several important findings were shared. Acknowledge and address imbalances...
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Downtown – Hamilton, Ontario

Martello on James St N with streetscape. Wild Orchid Restaurant with feature wall. Ongoing programming attracts people to the area. Layered street signage with blade sign, banners, wayfinding, and street art. Christ's Church Cathedral began in 1835 as a parish church. William Thomas expanded with the addition of a stone...
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Downtown – Millburn, New Jersey

Downtown – Millburn, New Jersey

Millburn has an ideal location, close to New York City and at the foot of the South Mountain Reservation. There are many assets here including the Paper Mill Playhouse and the Greenwood Gardens not too far away from the downtown. Here are a few highlights from a recent visit. Fantastical...
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Downtown – Manchester, Vermont

Downtown – Manchester, Vermont

Customized blade sign as a stylized coffee cup with steam rising for "Up for Breakfast." The name has a double meaning because the store is on an upper floor. Positive graffiti with the reminder that "There's no place, Just like this place, Anywhere near this place. So, this must be...
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Old City – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Old City – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Museum of the American Revolution Crucial moments in the American Revolution are told through artifacts and interpretive text. Two examples are the Wait Monument on the Boston road was near where the first shots were fired and the reproduction of the "Rising Sun" chair that George Washington sat on when...
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Chelsea – New York City, New York

Chelsea – New York City, New York

9th Ave and West 22nd St. Guardian Angel Roman Catholic Church. Lantern House. Marketed as "the bay window reinvented." Chelsea Market.
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Downtown – Carteret, New Jersey

Wayfinding signage Carteret Performing Arts and Event Center Music notes and piano key crosswalks Streetscape. Residential neighborhood. Waterfront Park with Fresh Kills in distance.
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Downtown – Trenton, New Jersey

Downtown – Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton Battle Monument. Opened in 1896 to commemorate the American victories at the Battles of Trenton.St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 140 North Warren St. Built 1747-48; used as a hospital after the Battles of Trenton; buried in the churchyard is David Brearley, a signer of the U.S. Constitution.Quaker Meeting House, 142...
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Downtown – Salem, Massachusetts

Downtown – Salem, Massachusetts

Salem has a wonderful mix of historical sites and unique public art to fill in many of the gaps in between. The two primary stories are related to the Witch trials and the lives tragically lost, and maritime activities that supported literary pursuits and an ambitious building program. Most notable...
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Downtown – Waltham, Massachusetts

Downtown – Waltham, Massachusetts

Arch and walkway leading to the farmer's market. Grover Cronin building with several stories of residential built overtop. Boston Manufacturing Company Cotton Mill, 1814. The original mill, constructed in 1814 by Francis Cabot Lowell and Patrick Tracy Jackson. It was the first textile mill in America to incorporate water powered...
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Town of Clinton Historic District – Clinton, New Jersey

Town of Clinton Historic District – Clinton, New Jersey

The Red Mill, Clinton, New Jersey The Red Mill, built circa 1810, over the years processed wool, grist, talc, plaster, and graphite. River water power also later generated electricity. A limestone quarry here was mined from the 1800s up until 1963. The Red Mill today is one of the indisputable...
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Downtown – Cooperstown, New York

Downtown – Cooperstown, New York

Cooperstown is a wonderful example of a downtown anchored by major destinations - namely the Baseball Hall of Fame and an exceptional natural resource in the form of Glimerglass Lake. Throw in an association with famous literary figure - James Fennimore Cooper - then the stage is set. Most of...
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Downtown – Staunton, Virginia

Downtown – Staunton, Virginia

T. J .Collins designed the Marquis Building on Beverley Street with a corner turret, bay windows, and gable-roofed bays. Together these give this commercial building a commanding presence at the intersection that it rests upon. The T. J .Collins designed Switzer Building with triple arches on the 2nd floor based...
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Downtown – Knoxville, Tennessee

Downtown – Knoxville, Tennessee

History photos enliven an otherwise blank wall. The Bijou is one of several theaters providing for the entertainment needs of the city and region. Water feature through the downtown steps from where the Farmers Market is held each week. Some of the public art commissioned, including a descriptive plaque with...
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Downtown – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Downtown – Grand Rapids, Michigan

We only had a short time to visit so focused our walking and looking in the area around Van Andel Arena. This provided a surprisingly lively subject, even if it was a little top heavy with beer-related establishments. Grand Rapids Brewing Company HopCat J. Gardella's Tavern Tavern on the Green...
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Downtown – Cheboygan, Michigan

Downtown – Cheboygan, Michigan

https://youtu.be/0-v3JLhKy2A This open-air canopy provides a covered space for markets and community events to occur. Loved to see a playful public art element near the market. The murals were simple but effective filling the wall and bringing "a little bit of happy" to those who pass by. Loved this cinder...
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Downtown – Petoskey, Michigan

Downtown – Petoskey, Michigan

Petoskey is one of the premier shopping districts in northern Michigan. Halfway between Mackinac Island and Traverse City, here you can find fashion, gifts, dining, ice cream, J.C. Penney Co. One of the last remaining downtown department stores. Wright Cycle Co. Wright brothers historian Dave Russell originally from Oakwood, Ohio,...
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Downtown – Mackinac Island, Michigan

Downtown – Mackinac Island, Michigan

Ferry Ride Lake Shore Drive Sainte Anne's Catholic Church Downtown 8.2 Mile Bike Ride Grand Hotel
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Downtown – Hammonton, New Jersey

Downtown – Hammonton, New Jersey

We were invited to Hammonton, New Jersey, to participate in a press conference by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs on recently awarded Main Street New Jersey Transformation Grants. While there we discovered a downtown that was experiencing a resurgence driven by entertainment and the arts, with a cluster...
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Downtown – York, Pennsylvania

Downtown – York, Pennsylvania

Old Town Historic District Colonial Garden The Gear Garden & Foundry Park Foundry Park sits on the site of the Eyster Weiser Co. foundary, established in 1904, whose buildings flanked Philadelphia Street. The main foundry was destroyed by fire in 1975. Brick structure that held other foundry functions are still...
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