For Immediate Release
Monday, March 9, 2015
Contact: Katie Kole,
Secretary Detzner Designates Main Street Bartow as Florida Main Street Program of the Month
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that Main Street Bartow has been designated the March 2015 Florida Main Street Community of the Month. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program. Bartow was designated a Main Street community in 1986, a year after the Florida Main Street program was established. To date, Bartow has totaled $10 billion in reinvestment on over 326 projects, and added 235 new businesses and 1,316 jobs.
“Bartow, the county seat of Polk County, can be proud of its Main Street program,” said Secretary of State, Ken Detzner. “During the almost 30 years since Main Street Bartow was founded, it has generated an impressive $10 billion in public and private investment, transforming downtown into a thriving and economically healthy center. Main Street Bartow is an integral partner with both the city and county, and a model Main Street organization.”
Bartow 1909 Court House
“Main Street Bartow’s 2015 work plan continues to focus on developing downtown’s fullest potential. Currently, the organization is developing a downtown marketing and image campaign,” says Executive Director Laura Simpson. “Another priority is concentrating on one of National Main Street’s fundamental principles: economic development within the context of historic preservation.”
Founded in 1851, this Central Florida city was originally known as Fort Blount but was later named Bartow in honor of Francis S. Bartow, a Civil War commander. The centerpiece of downtown Bartow is the 1909 Classical Revival Courthouse. Its restoration was funded, in part, through the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources’ historic preservation grants program. Listed on the National Register in 1989, this majestic building, with its beautiful rotunda, now houses the Polk County Historical Museum.
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About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 45 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul. Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Florida Main Street programs have cumulatively created 24,238 jobs, 7,190 new businesses and produced $2.3 billion in reinvestment.