The Ohio Main Street Program, administered by Heritage Ohio, has been working with communities across the state to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. Based in historic preservation, the Main Street approach was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to save historic commercial architecture and the fabric of American communities’ built environment, but has become a powerful economic development tool as well.
I recently walked through Elyria and Amherst, taking photos of their downtown areas, that had recently gone through the program. I was amazed, and hope that Lorain embraces this same program, to resurrect the Broadway area, and give a booster shot to downtown’s commerce.
Some examples of downtown Elyria. Amherst is a little different, as their downtown is much smaller, and located within just a few blocks. But, for as old as the buildings are, they are quite beautiful.
A perfect example of what a storefront should look like. Notice the font for the window sign. Very tasteful. And from looking at this store from afar, you’d never guess that it housed a tattoo shop.
The building with the red and white awning? A Mexican restaurant. This is what working with the city’s Design Review Board can do for a downtown. No garish colors. It blends perfectly.
I would like to thank Thad Gregg of Amherst, DeAnna Frye, Angela Byington, and Jerry Klein of Elyria for their time, patience, and all of their help in finding out about their programs, their DRB guidelines, and their invitations for sit-downs so that I could see how they ran things. Their help is greatly appreciated and I found it very valuable.