As a finalist in the Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign, Germantown United Community Development Corporation encourages the public to visit VoteYourMainStreet.org/Germantown to help Germantown United CDC secure funding to preserve two buildings on Germantown Avenue’s business corridor: Parker Hall (5801 Germantown Ave) and John Trower’s building (5706 Germantown Ave). Germantown is the only neighborhood in Philadelphia and the entire state of Pennsylvania participating in this competition.
With the awarded funds, this project will provide necessary facade and structural improvements to these two significant 20th-century African-American historic sites. The history of both buildings dates to the 1870s. Today, Parker Hall contains the office of Dr. Althea Hankins, MD, and the ACES Museum, which pays tribute to multi-ethnic contributions to the U.S. Military in WWII. The museum hosts veterans groups from throughout the country. John Trower’s building is home to the Crab House restaurant, a popular local business. Restoring these facades will benefit these businesses, bolster the historic appeal of Germantown, and increase community pride by highlighting the contributions of African-Americans to the history and culture of this country, in an underserved African-American urban community.
Germantown United CDC’s mission is to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown and it’s business corridors through a sustainable, creative and community driven approach to economic development. GUCDC believes that Germantown’s history and built environment are economic assets upon which to rebuild Germantown’s economy and create equitable economic development. After decades of decline, there are signs of improvement and vibrancy in Germantown.
Partners in Preservation is a community-based partnership, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places and their role in sustaining local communities.
Partners in Preservation: Main Streets will award $2 million in grant funding from American Express to Main Street districts in need of preservation support across America. The public will determine which sites will receive funding by voting for their favorite main streets through October 31 at VoteYourMainStreet.org, the online voting portal hosted by National Geographic Travel.
Partners in Preservation: Main Streets Open House Weekend
Germantown United CDC will host a public Open House Weekend event at their new storefront office, located at 5320 Germantown Avenue, on Saturday, October 7 from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. to highlight the importance of Main Street preservation efforts in Philadelphia. The Open House will coincide with the Revolutionary Germantown Festival, a neighborhood-wide event honoring the legacy of the Battle of Germantown. Germantown United CDC is one of 25 historic Main Street districts across the country participating in the Partners in Preservation: Main Streets Open House Weekend.
Why Main Street Matters
According to 2016 data from Main Street America, investments in Main Street districts have a significant impact on local economies – encouraging real estate development as well as the creation of new businesses and jobs. In 2016, $4.65 billion reinvested in Main Street improvement programs resulted in 8,042 building rehabilitations, 5,616 business openings, and 27,462 new jobs.
Furthermore, according to a recent study from Morning Consult of 2,201 Americans commissioned by American Express, 79 percent of Americans say that preserving Main Street is important. Additionally, 79 percent of Americans say that the idea of Main Street is what makes America beautiful. Main Street is also seen as vital in connecting Americans to their local community – 82 percent of Americans say that Main Street is important to their ability to socialize with others in a community. A similar amount, 86 percent, say that Main Street is important to the well-being and the enjoyment of a community.
For more information and to vote daily for Germantown United CDC through October 31, visit VoteYourMainStreet.org and share the love via social media using #VoteYourMainStreet and #VoteGermantown.