Main Street leaves legacy

Eight years of work and almost $2 million have left Red Deer with a more vibrant and enjoyable downtown, says the chair of the city’s Main Street project.

Eight years of work and almost $2 million have left Red Deer with a more vibrant and enjoyable downtown, says the chair of the city’s Main Street project.

Now completed and with 12 major building rehabilitations under its belt, Red Deer Main Street has about $50,000 left in the kitty. The money will be used to set up a legacy program that will include creating Statements of Significance and mount appropriate signage on various parts of the project, chairman Dennis Zimmer said following a wind-up celebration at the Scott Block on Thursday evening.

The Statements of Significance will dovetail into a separate project now underway to identify and preserve heritage buildings in other parts of the city, he said.

Red Deer Main Street was conducted by a volunteer board set up under the guidance and with $450,000 in financial support from Alberta Main Street, a Alberta Historical Resources program. From its conception, the project was viewed as a vehicle for sprucing up the downtown, making it more attractive to visitors and thus improving climate for business and residents, said Zimmer.

The 12 rehabilitations included the Scott Block, now a small theatre and gathering spot, Prairie Office Products, the Hayhoe Building (Old Mill), the Farthing Block and the Buffalo Hotel.

In addition, the project completed 11 building fix-ups, 49 signs and awnings and 12 plaques and participated in 53 different downtown events, said Zimmer.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com