The Roxborough Development Corporation has been recognized as an accredited “Main Street Program” by the National Trust’s Main Street Center.
The Main Street Center is a network of state, regional and local programs which uses preservation-based strategies for rebuilding places that make sustainable, vibrant, and unique communities. It is a component of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit that provides resources to save historic places in America.
What the recognition means
The RDC has been within the network of the Main Street Center for the past 10 years. This accreditation means that the organization has met the necessary performance standards as a commercial district.
The 10 standards include receiving strong community support, developing a vision, possessing a historic preservation ethic, having an active committee and having an operating budget.
In a press release, the director of the National Trust Main Street Center, Doug Loescher, congratulated this year’s organizations for meeting the goals.
“Accredited Main Street programs are meeting the challenges of the recession head on and are successfully using a focused, comprehensive revitalization strategy to keep their communities vibrant and sustainable,” he said.
How the RDC earned it
Bernard Guet, executive director of the RDC, says the group is honored to receive the award and believes the work of the group has prompted the recognition. He says the RDC works to improve the Roxborough community through multiple projects throughout the year.
“We have improved the streetscape by planting about 70 new tress along Ridge Avenue,” said Guet, “we want to keep it clean to make it a better main street in Roxborough.”
He says one RDC initiative that he is most proud of is renovating building facades.
“We replace windows, lights, awnings,” said Guet, “it’s a part of a major project to improve Ridge Avenue.”
He also says that the RDC’s efforts to plant and clean have led to a better community.
“Everything you see – new trees, planters, pedestrian lights – from Leverington Avenue to Dupont Street parking lots – they’ve been cleaned up,” said Guet. “We’ve renovated the facades of Victorian houses – we want to make it better to improve the area.”
The main component that Guet says keeps the area growing and vibrant is new business. He says businesses like Wawa, CVS and Crossroads Coffee House are good investments in the community. In the fall, he is excited to add a popular Northern Liberties craft beer and sandwich spot, The Foodery, to the business sector in Roxborough.
“We have a very active shopping center,” said Guet, “and we hope to continue to improve the shopping area.”
The RDC plans to continue its work in the Roxborough community and “reinvigorate Ridge Avenue so that it once again functions as a true focus to a broad range of community life and activities.”
Now, as an official “Main Street Program,” the RDC is working towards its next big goal for Roxborough.
“I think one day we can apply to be a historic district,” said Guet.