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:
The old familiar Maurie’s Fine Candies sign is again shining bright on Court Street.
After closing its doors early last summer, the beloved candy store has reopened, this time with a full offering of locally-roasted gourmet coffees and Uncle Bob’s Ice Cream to go along with the familiar caramel apples, candies and popcorn.
Owners Mark and Lelonie Luft purchased the shop last September in order to help revitalize downtown.
“I didn’t want to see another building close in downtown Pekin, but looking at the current format I knew I would have to find other ways to bring this store into the 21st century,” Lelonie Luft said. “Since you can buy anything you want on the Internet these days, we knew we had to create an experience for people.”
The Lufts created this experience by turning half of the shop into a modern coffee and ice cream shop, while keeping the familiar feel of Maurie’s in the candy area.CONTINUE READING >>
Musicians Barry Cloyd, right, and TJ Jones perform during this year's first Concerts on the Courthouse Square put on by the Speakeasy Art Center. The concerts will take place at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month through September. Food vendors and work by artists will also be at the concerts on the Tazewell County Courthouse's lawn at 342 Court St.
It’s been about three months into 2016 and the latest Tax Increment Financing project for downtown Pekin has been approved by the City Council and is under construction.
Muse Salon at 429 Court St. recently was approved for $4,525 to be used to remodel its storefront to attract additional business and possibly bring in more employees.
Owner Karen Walker, who moved her business downtown about two years ago, said the upgrade to the business will hopefully bring more attention to it.
“People just walked right on by. They would have appointments with us and they would be standing in front calling us,” Walker said. “So, now, you’re going to be able to notice us down here.” The building front was wooden, with no large, visible sign for the salon and the door will still be tucked away off from the sidewalk. Metal siding, a new sign, an awning and additional lights out front will be a part of the final construction.CONTINUE READING >>