Patrice Frey, CEO of Main Street America spent the morning of Nov. 5 touring downtown Jefferson. Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa Coordinator accompanied Patrice as she spent two days in five Main Street communities. Patrice expressed interest in how we foster entrepreneurship so the tour sites reflected that.
Jefferson Matters: Main Street’s executive director Peg Raney and Board members Deb McGinn and Nick Sorensen met them at the Thomas Jefferson Gardens. A trip to the top of the Mahanay Bell Tower highlighted rooftop art, facade projects, city-acquired buildings, The Forge and the 3 Block project that includes plans for housing development and Early Learning Center. The new high school with the ICCC Career Academy was pointed out and discussed. The downtown is full of entrepreneurs and the city-acquired buildings are being renovated to attract even more. City View on State was being worked on with new windows as the next step on that project. A tour of The Forge with Linc Kroeger with full renovation and innovative careers shared. Amanda Bills gave a tour and update of plans for The Public House on the corner of Chestnut and State. Along the route, the mini-bell towers, sculptures, alley projects and historical plaques were pointed out. Rosie Tucker hosted the group at Sensibly Chic with her story and tour of both floors of her building. RVP~1875 and History Boy Theatre was the next stop with Patrice talking about ordering a table with Robby. Throughout the visit, Patrice said she will need to return. Lunch was at Peony Chinese with ladies involved with bringing Angie’s Tea Garden back to town there to visit.
Jefferson submitted an application to Main Street America to be named a Great American Main Street. Patrice is involved on that committee and was part of the live interview held in August. We hope to hear more in early 2020 prior to the Main Street NOW Conference to be held in Dallas, Texas in mid-May.