Stuart's Main Street Takes The Cake For 'Main Street Community Of The Month'
Locals know better than anyone how charming Stuart’s downtown area is, so it didn’t surprise us when Stuart Main Street was designated Florida Main Street Community of the Month in June.
The award is based on the community’s participation and achievements in the Florida Main Street Program, which Stuart has been a part of since 1987.
While most awards the city has received (ahem, "Most Beautiful Small Town," "Happiest Seaside Town") have recognized the product, this award recognizes the hard work that goes into making that product, Thondra Lanese, executive director of Stuart Main Street, explained.
Specifically, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner lauded the community for creating more than 137 projects and 168 new jobs for the Main Street area.
Lanese said she believes the Stuart Main Street board's ability to make advancements—such as renovations to the Lyric Theatre and the Post Office Arcade—while preserving the "old Florida charm" of Stuart’s Main Street factored into earning the honor.
“They recognize we didn’t just put a gap in Downtown Stuart,” she said. “We found what makes Stuart completely unique. We have protected and promoted it, and made it even more special, so when people come to Stuart they think, ‘Wow, this is how Florida used to be.’”
Though awards like this do put Stuart more "on the map," Lanese assures the community that recognition is beneficial to our area.
“It’s not about ruining, it’s about sustaining what we have here and making it strong to last,” she said.
(Photo via Flickr/luvjnx)