TILLAMOOK, Ore. — Oregon Main Street announced its 2019 “Excellence in Downtown Revitalization” award winners this evening at the awards event in Tillamook, Oregon. The awards event kicks off the Oregon Main Street Conference, Oct. 2-4. A total of twenty businesses, projects, and people were recognized, including Klamath Falls Downtown Association’s Klamath Piano Project for Best Placemaking Project.
In May of 2019, The Klamath Piano Project placed pianos at six locations throughout Downtown Klamath Falls and six artists transformed the pianos into visual arts pieces. The pianos were left in place with instructions for anyone who happened to walk by to sit down and play if the mood struck.
This project was spearheaded by Klamath Falls Downtown Association volunteer Laty Xayavong and sponsored by local businesses. Since installation, many downtown visitors and residents have been observed playing the pianos or enjoying someone else playing them. Professional pianists have also been scheduled periodically. The project gives local artists a chance to show off their art in a new way and gives the community and visitors a creative outlet to express themselves in a public space. It brings joy and surprise to public spaces in downtown Klamath Falls by providing a space for people to gather, celebrate, and make spontaneous connections with each other.
10 other towns in Oregon were honored with awards. “The award winners serve as inspiration to communities across our Network and reflect some of the highest level of revitalization success,” said Sheri Stuart, state coordinator, Oregon Main Street. “We are so inspired to see how our historic downtowns across Oregon are coming to life through the creativity, passion, and plain hard work of community members.”
The wide range of awards is reflective of the comprehensive Main Street Approach® to downtown revitalization developed by the National Main Street Center. This model is used by the communities participating in the three-tier Main Street Track of Oregon Main Street Network. From 2010 to 2018, communities participating in the Performing Main Street and Transforming Downtown levels – the top two tiers – have seen $97,901,913 in private building improvement projects, $104,225,575 in public projects, 1,106 private rehab projects, 650 net new businesses, and 3,226 net new jobs. In addition, over 207,000 hours of volunteer time has been contributed to local main street organizations.
Oregon Main Street is part of Oregon Heritage, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. For additional information, visit www.oregonmainstreet.org.
The twenty projects, businesses, & individuals honored are:
Best New Business – Margin Coffee, Albany
Business of the Year – Conversion Brewing, Lebanon
Honorable Mention for Business of the year – Albany Civic Theater, Albany
Best Adaptive Reuse – Big’s Chicken, Beaverton
Best Economic Vitality Activity – Temporium, Hillsboro
Best Downtown Retail Event – Beaverton Downtown Association’s Old Town Passport, Beaverton
Best Special Event – Baker City Downtown’s Taste of Baker, Baker City
Best Image Activity – Reedsport Main Street Program’s #TuesdaysOnTheTown, Reedsport
Best Placemaking Project – Klamath Falls Downtown Association’s Klamath Piano Project, Klamath Falls
Best Design Education Activity – T.W.E.R.K. Project, Lebanon
Best Façade Renovation – Corby’s Public House, Dallas
Best Interior Renovation – Ex Novo Brewing, Beaverton
Best Upper Floor Renovation – 206 ½ Historic Hotel, Albany
Best Historic Preservation – M&N Building, Astoria
One to Watch – City of Warrenton
Outstanding Partnership – City of Lebanon
Outstanding Fundraiser – Independence Downtown Association’s Walk of Hearts, Independence
Volunteer of the Year – Beaverton Downtown Association’s Michelle Barnett, Beaverton
Board Member of the Year – Lebanon Downtown Association’s Dala Johnson, Lebanon
Main Street Manager of the Year – Astoria Downtown Historic District Association’s Sarah Lu Heath, Astoria
“The award winners serve as inspiration to communities across our Network and reflect some of the highest level of revitalization success,” said Sheri Stuart, state coordinator, Oregon Main Street. “We are so inspired to see how our historic downtowns across Oregon are coming to life through the creativity, passion, and plain hard work of community members.”
Press release provided from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.