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Main Street Matters -- Five things you need to know about Norway Downtown
1. What is it?
Norway Downtown is a non-profit organization funded and supported by the Town of Norway, local businesses, civic organizations, and citizens. Its program is based on the Main Street Four Point approach developed by the National Trust of Historic Preservation and is overseen by the Maine Downtown Center, a program of the Maine Development Foundation.
2. How did it start?
It was formed in 2002 by a group of citizens and business leaders who realized the revitalization of Norway’s Main Street needed a broader mission than that of a traditional business group. Currently, Norway Downtown is a Maine Downtown Network Community.
Norway Downtown’s four committees are organization, design, promotions and economic restructuring, all overseen by a board of directors. Its main goal is to support the Town of Norway with a comprehensive plan and projects which address all aspects of the social, environmental, and economic health of Norway’s Main Street.
3. Where can I find it?
Norway Downtown’s office is located at 445 Main Street on the second floor of the FareShare Market building. The office phone number is 739-2512. The office door is the first one on the left. Our Post Office Box is 271, Norway, ME 04268. Also, go to our website presence at www Norway Downtown.org. for information. Access the Calendar of Events for our committee meeting schedules. Visit Norway Downtown on Facebook.
4. What has Norway Downtown done so far?
You may not know that you have already enjoyed and benefitted from the work done by Norway Downtown. The organization brings the Easter and Halloween Festivals to Main Street and partners with the Western Maine Art Group to create the Norway Arts Festival. ND sponsors the Norway’s Winter Farmers’ Market and the Nellie Dunham Shoe and String Festival with the Western Foothills Land Trust.
Norway Downtown does more. It supports the preservation of Norway’s historic assets. Our economic future depends on retaining our unique sense of place. In this spirit, Norway Downtown collaborated with the Town of Norway to present three forums to address strategies to preserve Norway’s endangered historic buildings.
From this, effort and progress has been made by saving the Gingerbread House from demolition and relocating it. The Opera House was taken by eminent domain, stabilized, purchased and now is undergoing rehabilitation of its first floor stores. Now both buildings are under supervision of respective Boards of Directors.
Norway Downtown has made every effort to create attractive gateways with traditional black and gold signage, to plant and maintain downtown green spaces, to rehabilitate the historic Rustfield Cemetery and Quartz Bridge. Our award-winning Downtown Norway Map and Guides are distributed locally and throughout the state of Maine.
ND has placed significant ads in magazines to support local businesses and continues its efforts to do so with a recent business survey. Norway’s Main Street has significant anchors with the churches, library, school, hospital and post office. Main Street businesses understand pedestrian traffic is a benefit. Recruitment continues for sustainable, quality businesses.
5. How can you get involved?
Anyone can volunteer. Your time can be for a committee, a specific event or project. Call the ND office (739-2512) or respond on FaceBook. Community involvement is an important part of our vitality. All volunteer efforts are appreciated. You will be welcomed.