Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Baltimore To Host 2012 National Main Streets Conference

Despite City Hall Blows, Baltimore Main Streets Continue To Gain Recognition

Yesterday, Edward Gunts, of the Baltimore Sun, reported that Baltimore has been selected as the host of the yearly four day long National Main Streets Conference for 2012.

Baltimore's Main Street Logo

Recent years have been difficult for Baltimore Mains Streets.  In late 2009 the Baltimore Development Corporation created a special “focus zone” in the city that would give significant tax breaks to a big-box development proposed for the area.  At the same time, the BDC was contemplating a reduction in the Baltimore’s Main Street program.  In March 2010, the BDC announced cuts to the Main Street program for the budget of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, which included eliminating nearly half of the 10 Baltimore Main Streets initiatives.

Later, in November 2010, Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to approve the development plans of the 25th Street Station downtown big-box shopping center, despite push back from independent retailers and residents.  The irony, or course, is the Baltimore Main Street’s logo (at left), which the city reportedly spent not an insignificant amount to have created.

Apparently, the National Trust For Historic Preservation, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America’s communities, saw something more valuable in Baltimore’s Main Streets and have selected Baltimore to host the National Main Streets Conference in 2012.

From the conference site:

Past conference host communities have gained needed or continued support from state and/or local governments and funders by sharing their successes with a national audience of their peers through coverage by national media, including CNN, Good Morning America, and Parade Magazine, which have covered past conferences, and through the Great American Main Street Awards®, which are presented at the conference.

The conference will take place in Baltimore April 1-4, 2012 at the Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel.  It is open to the public.  According to the National Trust For Historic Preservation, “When historic buildings and neighborhoods are torn down or allowed to deteriorate, a part of our past disappears forever.”

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