I Miss Main Street

For communities to be vibrant and socially healthy a lively town center, a  place that’s a regular destination spot, is critical.  All across the country, municipalities are struggling with the challenge of creating this unique sense of place, especially in these trying economic times.  Some are having great success with the economic interventions they’ve carefully crafted and implemented while others struggle to identify effective solutions.

Traffic stops at the corner of Main and North Streets sometime before WW-II. The courthouse, an attractive addition to downtown was torn down to make room for a modern structure.

Whatever the case, it’s an important matter for community leaders and the agencies involved in downtown restoration.  In Elkton, the Mayor and Commissioners recognized this need over a decade ago when the town board started funding the independent Main Street’s group charged with developing and implementing a restoration plan.  The program started under former Mayor Rob Alt, who was committed to creating a vibrancy downtown.  When the current Mayor, Joseph Fisona, ran for the office 8 years ago, he made restoration a core part of his campaign platform and he continue to make it a cornerstone of his administration.  The Town is to be congratulated for its ongoing support of a key community initiative as stakeholders work to identify and implement appropriate solutions.

On this January second, the second decade of the 21st century, here’s what got us started on this matter.  Since this subject of energized downtowns and historic preservation is important to us folk song about our olds towns from a range of talented musicians. periodically catch our attention  Today we heard a new one on our regular morning listening station in Blue Hill, Maine, WERU.  This piece by Maine singer/songwriter David Mallett is titled, “I Miss Main Street.”

It’s an interesting artistic work, which frames the subject of what’s going on with many of our Main Streets.  We’ll have to purchase a downloaded MP3 of this to add with David Wilcox and a few others.

 Lyrics in Part ——

There’s a new super store on the outside of town
It’s the very first thing that you see
The people are coming from miles around
‘Cause the merchants on Main can’t compete
They got records and rugs, groceries and drugs
On acres of cold concrete floor
And when I walked in my head started to spin
I forgot what I came in for
And I miss Main Street . . .

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