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THREE-PEAT: City of Sylvania earns national honor again

 

The City of Sylvania has been accredited as a National Main Street Program for the third year in a row.

The designation means the city has met standards for revitalizing its commercial district. The standards are set by the National Trust Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“I was thrilled that we got it for the third year in a row,” said Hilda Boykin, Sylvania’s Better Hometown manager. “That’s important recognition on a national level.” The Better Hometown program is the Main Street program for small communities.

The designation helps Sylvania gain national attention, Boykin said. “We’re trying to use the assets we have,” she said. “Hopefully, it’ll help with some grants.”

The annual accreditation process means Sylvania has focused on four strategies for revitalizing its downtown: organization, promotion, design and economic planning. The process evaluates commercial district revitalization programs. The criteria range from having an active board of directors and paid professional manager to tracking economic progress and preserving historic Main Street buildings.

The Sylvania program printed a second historic cookbook last year to help raise money for façade grants downtown. Boykin said second cookbook hasn’t earned enough to make a profit yet – they’re still working on paying printing costs.

The city deciding recently to buy the building that houses the program and its Soda Shop art gallery also should helpgain some grants, Boykin said. The group may be able to attract grants to bring in additional artwork once they own the building.