Pekin Main Street recently celebrated it’s fifteenth anniversary, and never before has there been a better time to join us in our mission to revitalize the downtown area. As corporate America continues to grow and dominate our nation’s culture, many towns like Pekin both near and far are losing their once unique character and becoming more like “Anywhere,” USA. While we welcome and embrace most all economic growth and development, we also believe strongly that every great and well-rounded city has one thing in common: They enthusiastically embrace what sets them apart from each other.
When we think of the things that are unique to Pekin, it is clear that our downtown history remains a pillar of our identity that furthermore inspires us to maintain a sense of pride for our community. Unquestionably, its buildings and its culture also serve as our generation’s most prominent connection to those who came decades and centuries before us and who faithfully guided our city into each next great era.
Since 1999, Pekin Main Street has been dedicated to preserving, restoring, and revitalizing our downtown area. It is our mission to promote Pekin through the many great qualities that its downtown still has to offer, and we are excited about the many significant opportunities that are on the immediate horizon to usher in new business and recreation through several joint economic development efforts.
Pekin Main Street is a community project, and it thrives with the partnering support of Pekin area businesses, organizations, individuals, and local government entities. In its first year of operation alone, over 70 “partners” contributed financially to the program, and twelve other businesses donated in-kind resources.
We are increasingly anxious and optimistic about what the future holds for our community through our efforts, and we look forward to earning your appreciation and support in 2015. Together, we can achieve our mission. Are you with us?
We work to re-use vacant buildings, identify available opportunities, and recruit new businesses to diversify the retail offerings of our Main Street.
Pekin Main Street uses the Main Street approach of incremental change and progress. This approach uses four elements to impove Pekin's downtown.
The Main Street Program was established in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to address and combat the threats on the commercial architecture and economic vitality of small city downtowns. Today there are over 60 Main Street communities in Illinois, with more being added each year. Pekin Main Street is a nonprofit organization which received its official charter as an "Illinois Main Street Community" on April 5, 1999. Pekin Main Street has a comprehensive plan for downtown revitalization, including adoption of design guidelines, incentives for building rehabilitation, customer surveys and basic market analysis, and the creation of several new downtown special events.
The mission statement for Pekin Main Street reads... "To preserve, restore and revitalize Pekin's downtown area, both aesthetically and economically, through educating the entire community to the benefits of Pekin's downtown." To accomplish the above mission statement, a four-point approach is used: