Spend any time in the downtown development world, and you’ll learn that most practitioners cringe when they hear the word “demolition.” It’s an involuntary reaction stemming from years of seeing perfectly sound structures falling to the wrecking ball—buildings that could very well have been rehabilitated and reused.
The Main Street America approach has been, and continues to be, rooted in a holistic approach to developing historic downtowns most commonly referenced as the 4 Points™- Design, Economic Vitality, Organization, and Promotion.
Most of us in the downtown revitalization world have a vision for what we hope that our downtown might look like in the future. However, in many cases, outdated local regulations and ordinances may actually make this vision impossible.
There I was, sitting in the audience listening to Harry Boyte deliver his keynote, Small Cities: Centers of a Democratic Renaissance, at the 20th Conference of Small City and Regional Community hosted by UW- Stevens Point’s Center for the Small City in Wausau in 2015, when I made the connection.