2019 Main Street Iowa Awards
Main Street Iowa Awards Celebration Honors Outstanding Achievements
Award Winning Projects, Entrepreneurs and Volunteers Honored
Corning received the following state awards and special recognitions: Business of the Year was presented to Carver’s Ridge, Superior Interior Rehabilitation Project was presented to Primrose Restaurant, and the Leadership Award was presented to Jacki Bardole. There were forty-five representatives from Main Street Corning who attended the awards ceremony.
Main Street Iowa hosted the 33rd annual Main Street Iowa Awards celebration on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Scottish Rite Consistory in Des Moines. The program honored the efforts of those who work day in and day out to revitalize Iowa’s downtowns – the heart and soul of communities across the state. The awards honor outstanding accomplishments, activities and people making a difference in the state’s 53 Main Street districts.
This year, 19 projects were selected to be recognized from the 129 competitive nominations submitted. The honors were presented by Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Director Debi Durham and James Engle, director of IEDA’s Downtown Resource Center.
“Main Street Iowa has stood the test of time since its introduction in 1985,” said Durham. “We continue to see significant growth in the amount of business, jobs and investment in communities of all sized due to the program, and as a result these districts serve as inspiring examples of what’s possible for Iowa’s downtowns.”
Two special awards were presented during the event. The community of Mount Vernon received the “Spirit of Main Street” for demonstrating the true intent of the program. The City of Dubuque and the Dubuque Main Street Program received the “Signature Project” award for the Steeple Square Project in Dubuque’s historic commercial district, which stood out among this year’s projects.
“The Main Street Approach works, and Main Street Iowa has been a national model because we are creative, we embrace change and we demand local initiative and action.” Durham said.
During the event, seven communities were recognized for reaching milestones in the amount of private investment in their commercial districts. Newton was recognized for reaching the $1 million-dollar benchmark and Colfax was honored for $3 million in local investment. Centerville and Jefferson attained the $5 million-dollar benchmark. Story City was recognized for achieving the $10 million in local investment since being designated a local Main Street program and Des Moines 5th Avenue Corridor and Marion both reaching the $20 million-dollar benchmark.
The community of Waverly was recognized for 30 years of program designation and the communities of Ames, Cedar Rapids Czech Village – New Bohemia, Colfax, Davenport Hilltop Campus Village, Des Moines 6th Avenue Corridor and Manning were recognized for 10 years of participation as designated Main Street Iowa communities.
As part of the event, a special partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Main Street Iowa was highlighted. Carol Harsh, Director of “Museum on Main Street” for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Serve recognized Ames, Conrad, Guthrie Center, Jefferson, Mount Vernon and Ottumwa for hosting Smithsonian’s exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Changed America” in their community.
In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted the National Main Street Center’s Four Point Approach® to district revitalization by establishing Main Street Iowa within the agency that is now the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Since its inception, the state program and its communities have been considered examples of excellence in the national effort to revitalize historic commercial districts across the country.
Since 1986, local Main Street programs have made a significant impact on Iowa’s economy, resulting in:
- The inception of 4,805 new businesses and a net gain of 14, 938 jobs;
- More than 12,000 building projects reported, totaling a private investment of more than $1.96 billion dollars; and
- More than 3 million hours of human capital equative to greater than $81 million dollars in time and talents according to the independent Sector’s estimated value of a volunteer hour.
For more information about Main Street Iowa and how all Iowa communities can access commercial revitalization assistance through the Iowa Downtown Resource Center, visit , email or call 515.348.6184.