Download PDF version (942.3k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.
Commercial rehabbers use creativity and craft to renew downtown storefronts by Robert Inwood A Facelift For MAIN STREET Downtown restoration programs are bringing new life to rundown commercial districts and new business to commercial remodelers. In the 1970s, preservation organizations began to promote downtown restoration through programs offering help with design, public relations, and funding (see "Mainstreet to the Rescue,"). These "Mainstreet programs" help businesses develop a coordinated "image" to compete with shopping malls. The downtown image is based on its biggest asset -- its old buildings -- and the public's nostalgia for a slice of history and community pride. Most downtowns suffer from piecemeal modernization. False "Swiss chalet" fronts, "Wild West" boardwalks, or aluminum cladding mask the original