Main Street Day at the Capitol
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[February 27, 2007]
SPRINGFIELD -- Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn celebrated at
the largest Main Street Day rally in event history, with Jean Ann
Hutchinson and Wanda Lee Rohlfs from Main Street Lincoln attending
the event and providing an exhibit. From Lincoln, the showcase
included pictures about the Renaissance Fountain in Scully Park, the
Renaissance Faire in Scully Park to dedicate the fountain, the mural
of the penny on the side of the Lauer Building, "Trick or Treat with
the Mayor" and the winners from the wineries at the Lincoln Art &
Balloon Festival. Quinn commended communities on their recent
accomplishments and efforts to revitalize their downtown districts.
State representatives and senators from many of Illinois' 69 Main
Street communities attended the rally and activities throughout the
day Feb. 22. Main Street communities showcased their successes with
various displays and exhibits throughout the Capitol from 9:30 a.m.
to 2:30 p.m.
"Main Street helps communities appreciate the
treasures in their midst and fosters a spirit of volunteerism, a
sense of place and a new civic pride," Quinn said. "The Main Street
program is helping to revitalize downtown spaces statewide, and we
are reaching far and wide across Illinois to provide assistance to
Quinn also urged Illinois lawmakers to pass two pieces of
legislation that will help revitalize downtown areas. The Illinois
Arts Districts Act --
Senate Bill 660 -- gives Illinois localities the ability to
designate art districts and supports local artists and gallery
owners with tax exemptions, promoting vibrant art communities. And
House Bill 1355 requires that the state give preference to
historic properties located in central business districts when
locating its facilities.
Quinn's office continues to find creative ways to spur economic
development in downtown areas. Last year, the lieutenant governor
presented the Main Street communities of Belleville and Carbondale
with technology grants to help bring their downtown areas online.
Combining tourist hot spots with wireless hot spots keeps Illinois
downtowns quaint -- yet convenient. This will be key as Illinois
prepares to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln's bicentennial.
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"In February of 2009, Illinois communities will have a one-of-a-kind
opportunity to roll out the red carpet for the world," Quinn said.
"As we celebrate the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln,
the Land of Lincoln must be ready to showcase its unique ties to his
life and legacy."
Main Street grows every year, and last year was
no exception. With the addition of seven new communities to the
roster, Illinois Main Street is now the fourth-largest Main Street
program in the United States.
The lieutenant governor's office administers the
Illinois Main Street
program, which is based on a national model that offers communities
help with issues such as downtown improvements, historic
preservation and economic development. Illinois is one of 40 states
that belong to the national Main Street program, administered
through the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Illinois Main Street represents one of the state's most effective
public-private partnerships for economic development and community
renewal. Since its inception, designated communities have reported
net gains of more than 1,800 new downtown businesses and created
nearly 7,000 new full- and part-time jobs. The Main Street program
has spurred the reinvestment of more than $600 million in Main
For more about the Illinois Main Street program, visit
[Text from news release from the