Barracks Row Awarded by the National Trust
The National Trust Historic Preservation recently awarded the Barracks Row Main Street the 2005 Great American Main Street Award. The award was announced on May 9th at the 2005 National Main Streets Conference, Cool Cities: Old Buildings, New Attitudes.
The National Trust selected Barracks Row because of its prime location near the Capitol and natural harbor, the Anacostia River and its history. With 8th Street, SE serving as the District of Columbia’s first commercial center, the Barracks Row neighborhood thrived for years while the rest of Washington, DC was developing.
A decline in jobs in DC after WWII and suburban flight of the 1950’s negatively affected businesses and the residents of the neighborhood. In the early 1990’s merchants on Barracks Row banded together in an effort to revitalize the area and formed the Barracks Row Business Alliance.
Since 1999, Barracks Row merchants and its Main Street have overseen 51 facade restorations; 40 sign replacements through private dollars; created 47 new businesses, including 9 new outdoor café expansions; added 198 net new jobs, and a self-guided history trail. Today, residents, daytime workers, and tourists enjoy the 17 charming retailers, 25 restaurants and taverns, and countless services that meet all their needs on historic Barracks Row. The total amount of public and private reinvestment in the community has totaled $19 million.
Other winners include: Emporia, Kansas; Frederick, Maryland; New Iberia, Louisiana; and, Washington Gateway in Boston, Massachusetts.