On this day in 2013, the City of Marietta passed a resolution to formally support ReStore Marietta in becoming a member of the Ohio Main Street Community Organization Program through Heritage Ohio. A few months later, ReStore Marietta became an official Main Street Community, adopting the name Marietta Main Street. Five years later, the organization is stronger than ever and continues to build on the successes of past leadership, leading the state in adopting new ideas and methodologies.
This resolution passed by the City of Marietta is an important one. Marietta Main Street is the only local nonprofit with a resolution outlining its partnership with the City. It reads, “Whereas, the City of Marietta, Ohio recognizes the importance of its downtown districts as they relate to the economic health and quality of life to the community; and, whereas, the continues improvement, revitalization and development of downtown Marietta and Harmar Village is a long term goal of the City of Marietta, Ohio.”
To have the City recognize the importance of revitalization and preservation is essential to the success of a Main Street program. “Our relationships with both City Council and City Administration are a tremendous asset to our mission. Our Mayor, Director of Safety Services, and Director of Development have each been advocates for our vision, offering their support to aid our momentum, and giving nods of encouragement to myself, personally, as Director,” said Cristie Thomas, Executive Director of Marietta Main Street. “Members of Council have also extended their encouragement and support to our organization, partnering on local initiatives, and more. We’re really proud to partner with the City of Marietta for much of our work and are grateful for the opportunity to do so, as a Main Street Community.”
Marietta Main Street fulfills many roles. Our focuses are on economic development, city planning, historic preservation, public art, downtown beautification, small business development, marketing, tourism, and much more.
The Ohio Main Street Program, administered by Heritage Ohio, works with communities across the state to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. The Main Street approach was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help save historic commercial architecture and the fabric of American communities’ built environment, and has become a powerful economic development tool as well.
Although Marietta Main Street has had its fair share of challenges over the past five years through changes in leadership, it is safe to say the organization has reached new levels of success. Main Street now hosts more than 60 events each year, including First Fridays, Cash Mobs, the Farmers Market on Front Street, and the Rivers, Trails & Ales Festival. Events are only a small portion of what falls under the Main Street umbrella, however.
“Marietta Main Street fulfills many roles. Our focuses are on economic development, city planning, historic preservation, public art, downtown beautification, small business development, marketing, tourism, and much more,” said Thomas, during her address at the 2018 Downtown Celebration earlier this year. “Our vision compels us to strive forward towards an inclusive, vibrant community where our history is honored, our community pride is obvious, and our sense of place is authentic, representative, and contributes to a quality of life.”
Our Board of Directors stands tall today, five years strong, and our mission has more momentum than ever.
Thomas and her Board of Directors see this milestone as a significant one. “This milestone doesn’t come lightly for Marietta Main Street. There were a few times in the past few years where our Board really didn’t see a clear pathway forward, due to constraints on internal capacity,” said Thomas. “That being said, our Board of Directors stands tall today, five years strong, and our mission has more momentum than ever. With a renewed grasp on the Main Street Approach, we are forging ahead with a focus on comprehensive planning for our district, which includes embracing the community’s vision for our downtown. There are big things to come!”
On April 18th, Marietta Main Street will host Heritage Ohio and Main Street Directors from across the state for a Quarterly Training, an honor they last served in 2013 as a new Main Street. That evening, MMS invites past and current board members, partners, stakeholders and volunteers to join in celebrating their five year anniversary with a reception at the Marietta Brewing Company from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.