DANVILLE, IL. – Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn visited Danville today in order to pledge his support for the Illinois Main Street Program and commend the community of Danville for their recent initiatives to aesthetically and economically enhance their downtown business district.
“Danville is a community that has worked hard to produce the effects the Main Street Program aims for through their enthusiasm, commitment and civic pride,” Quinn said, noting Danville’s remarkable improvements.
Quinn was joined at the press conference by Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer, Downtown Danville Program Manager Michelle Young-Blanc, along with City Board members and committee chairs. Also joining him on the site of the new Temple Plaza were downtown business owners and residents of Danville.
The Lt. Governor’s Office administers the Illinois Main Street program which is based on a national model that offers communities help with downtown improvements, historic preservation and economic development. Although the nationally acclaimed program that promotes volunteerism fell victim to arbitrary budget cuts last year, Quinn has vowed to revitalize the program.
“Main Street encourages residents of communities such as Danville to appreciate the historically unique home they have, and promotes a spirit of volunteerism, a sense of place, and a new community pride,” stated Quinn. “Danville is a perfect example of how a community’s involvement can truly result in some exciting changes.”
The residents of Danville have seen extraordinary improvements to their historic downtown area thanks to the completion of Temple Plaza, made possible through Main Street grant funding. The Plaza showcases new tables and chairs; a revamped landscape design; a music pavilion and most importantly, a mural depicting notable Danvillians such as U.S. House rep. Joe Cannon and astronaut Joe Tanner. The mural titled Danville, USA also features everyday people such as coal miners and farmers.
The mural is just one of many attractions boosting tourism and drawing more visitors to historic downtown. Additionally, a business named Nexlan that adjoins Temple Plaza has been offering visitors free Internet access. Residents of Danville and tourists alike are welcome to hook up their personal laptops to the World Wide Web free of charge.
After the press conference, Quinn visited an eye care clinic that is housed in a building that has been expanded and refurbished with grant funding from the main Street program.
Danville was recognized for their great efforts and achievements during the 2003 Main Street 10th Annual State Conference held in Elgin, IL. The community received Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization in the areas of Volunteer Recognition Activity and New Signage.
The Main Street Program is one of long-time consumer advocate Lt. Governor Pat Quinn’s key initiatives to join together the people of Illinois with the common goal of protecting this state’s celebrated assets.
Quinn called Main Street an “innovative partnership” and has assigned several staff to be involved with Illinois Main Street. His trip to Danville is just one of many visits planned to Main Street communities. Quinn said he hopes to visit all 57 Illinois Main Street communities during the next 12 months.
The national Main Street Program is designed to improve all aspects of the downtown or central business district. Improving economic management, strengthening public participation, and making downtown a fun place to visit are as critical to Main Street’s future as recruiting new businesses, rehabilitating buildings, and expanding parking.
Illinois is one of 40 states that belong to the national Main Street program, administered through the National Trust for historic Preservation.