Month List

Cultural Corner Art Guild and Galllery Recieves $350,000 in NAP Tax Credit from State

by Ben White, Director 13. August 2015 10:23

The Cultural Corner-Art Guild & Gallery has some exciting news! In a special announcement today, Senator David Pearce announced that the Cultural Corner Art Guild and Gallery has received the approval for the NAP tax credit in the amount of $350,000, which translates to $500,000 for renovations! This is a great thing not only for downtown Chillicothe, but also the arts and the community as a whole. Be looking for construction to start up in the coming months!


Main Street Receives Three Awards at Missouri State Conference

by Ben White, Director 13. August 2015 10:19

Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc., presented downtown revitalization awards that recognize revitalization excellence during the annual Missouri Main Street Conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday. Main Street Chillicothe brought home several accolades, having received awards for three projects: Sliced Bread Saturday, the Adam Warren Law Office facade rehabilitation, and Main Street Holiday House Store. Micah Landes, executive director for Main Street Chillicothe, said she is proud of Chillicothe’s downtown and the Main Street Chillicothe organization. “I am truly honored and humbled to bring home three awards against the best downtowns in the state,” said Micah Landes, executive director of Main Street Chillicothe. “It is a privilege to be the leader of an amazing organization with a great team, board, committees and volunteers.” Missouri Main Street Connection judges were complimentary about Chillicothe’s efforts. They said that the Warren Law Office facade rehabilitation project “transformed the building into a unique historic asset for the downtown,” and that through the Holiday House Store, Main Street Chillicothe is growing its own economic drivers of downtown success by promoting entrepreneurship in a direct, positive and supportive fashion. Missouri Main Street Connection, launched as a non-profit organization in 2005, is designed to help communities preserve their historic buildings and reinvigorate their downtown districts. MMSC has served 178 communities across the state of Missouri. Through this work, the communities actively participating in the Missouri Main Street Program have successfully created 432 net new businesses and 2,605 net new jobs. Based on economic data collected from the communities in the top three tiers of the Missouri Main Street program, since 2006, $668 million of private investments have been made in the Main Street communities. For every dollar appropriated to MMSC by the state of Missouri, $1,857 of private investments were made. Public investments by municipal governments have totaled $127.9 million in improvements to infrastructure. A ceremony Thursday night honored communities, individuals, businesses and civic organizations from across the state, that have completed exemplary work in downtown revitalization. Competitive nominations were submitted for projects, activities and individuals in 14 different categories that covered aspects of design, economic restructuring, organization, promotion and other efforts in downtown revitalization. The Missouri Main Street Connection hosted the Evening of Excellence Awards at The Westin at Crown Center in Kansas City. Main Street Chillicothe was recognized and receive awards in three categories. Adam Warren Law Office, of Chillicothe, wins award for Top Facade Rehabilitation over $10,000 Adam Warren Law Office, owned by attorney Adam Warren, underwent a $35,000 facade rehabilitation that was completed in December 2014. The façade rehabilitation was very unique in that it didn’t just enhance one building’s appearance. The architecture of the whole block was unified by this work. Adam Warren opened his private practice in the downtown building in 2006. He finished the interior remodel in 2009 and the exterior façade work was finished in December 2014. The metal slipcover on the façade was replaced with a brick façade. A balcony off the second floor was also added. The rehabilitation of the law office shows not only the importance of façade rehabilitations in downtown districts but also the importance of the pride of ownership. Judges’ comment: This project “really transformed the building into a unique historic asset for the downtown. I love the recessed balcony… the restored facade is nicely done and tied together well. Really awesome job!” Chillicothe’s Sliced Bread Saturday wins award for Top Promotional Event The award for Top Promotional Event went to Main Street Chillicothe for its Sliced Bread Saturday event that highlighted the history of Chillicothe as well as the present activity in the downtown district. To celebrate their history as the home of Sliced Bread, Main Street Chillicothe created an event, Sliced Bread Saturday, to celebrate the historic spirit of Chillicothe commerce, culture, and creativity that is still centered in the downtown district. The event celebrated the past and present of Chillicothe with A Walk In Time living history mural tour; two family entertainment performances in the downtown outdoor venue, the Silver Moon Plaza; business sidewalk sales; wide variety of street vendors; and the annual Bread Baking Contest. It was reported that over 600 visitors attended the event from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. By inviting downtown businesses to participate in the sidewalk sale, the event also helped the owners increase customer traffic and sales. Sixteen businesses participated in the sale which allowed them to show gratitude and hospitality to their customers. One popular store in the area, Madison Avenue Fashion Exchange, said that is was their highest sales day ever. Main Street Chillicothe wins award for Best Economic Restructuring Project This past holiday season, Main Street Chillicothe opened the Main Street Holiday House Store in the downtown district. The vision for the project came from the organization’s Economic Restructuring Committee who hoped the store would provide a place for small businesses in the area to get their name and products some public exposure with hopes of these businesses growing into a store front in downtown Chillicothe. The Main Street Holiday House Store acted as an incubator for these small businesses who could not support a store front yet, but had the potential for becoming a downtown merchant The Economic Restructuring Committee chose vendors that were viewed as exceptional small businesses and also complemented the vision of the store. Main Street Holiday House was open select hours Thursday through Saturday from Nov. 6 through Dec. 20 with the exception of Thanksgiving. Promotional events were planned by Main Street Chillicothe each Saturday to bring even more visitors to the store. As a result of the Holiday House, 3 of the 9 vendors have their products featured in Chillicothe businesses. The committee plans to have another Holiday House in the fall of 2015. Judges’ comment: “I think this is a powerful example of an organization setting the stage for economic success in the district. By promoting entrepreneurship in a direct, positive and supportive fashion, Chillicothe is growing its own economic drivers of downtown success.”


Annual Luncheon

by Ben White, Director 27. April 2015 15:46

Join us on May 27 for our annual luncheon as we celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and recognize those people that have made considerable contributions to our organization and to our downtown. This will be held on the second floor of the Livingston County Library at noon. The cost will be $10.00; email us at or call us at (660) 646-4071 if you are interested in coming!


Main Street Chillicothe Receives Accreditation 2015

by Ben White, Director 27. April 2015 15:37

Main Street Chillicothe has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street® programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization through the Main Street Four Point Approach®.

“We congratulate this year’s nationally accredited Main Street programs for their outstanding accomplishment in meeting the National Main Street Center’s 10 Standards of Performance,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “As the National Main Street Center celebrates its 35th Anniversary, it is also important to celebrate the achievements of the local Main Street programs across the country, some of whom have been around since the beginning. These local programs work hard every day to make their communities great places to work, live, play and visit while still preserving their historic character.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by Missouri Main Street Connection which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. These standards set the benchmarks for measuring an individual Main Street program’s application of the Main Street Four Point Approach® to commercial district revitalization. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

“We at Main Street Chillicothe are honored to be recognized at the National Level for our downtown revitalization efforts,” said Micah Landes, Executive Director. “We have a beautiful and active downtown that continues to build momentum through broad-based community involvement, active support from both public and private sectors, and an active board and volunteers. So many of our wonderful citizens care about the future of our town. I feel confident that our community is committed to continued success downtown, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center helps communities of all sizes revitalize their older and historic commercial districts. Working in more than 2,000 downtowns and urban neighborhoods over the last 35 years, the Main Street program has leveraged more than $61.7 billion in new public and private investment. Participating communities have created 528,557 net new jobs and 120,510 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 251,838 buildings, leveraging an average of $26.52 in new investment for every dollar spent on their Main Street district revitalization efforts.

Pictured Main Street Chillicothe board and staff.
(left to right) back row Amy McDonald, Pam Jarding (President), Ed Milbank (Secretary/Treasurer), Staci Baker (Past President), Steve Franke, & Pat Thorne.
(left to right) front row Steve Holt, Ben White (Executive Assistant), Micah Landes (Executive Director), Ed Robertson (Vice President), Ed Douglas, & Chuck Haney.


Main Street Lexington Steering Committee visits Chillicothe

by Ben White, Director 25. March 2014 16:12

Chillicothe shares Main Street success stories with Lexington Committee members.

The newly formed Steering Committee for Main Street Lexington is not wasting any time in gathering helpful data and ideas from cities that have demonstrated successful downtown redevelopment projects. On Friday, March 14th, a delegation of members from Main Street Lexington accompanied by Ward 1 City Councilman Harold Bonanomi visited the city of Chillicothe.

“Chillicothe has achieved great success through the Main Street program – and we wanted to have a frank conversation with their folks to see what worked and what didn’t” said Chip Langman, Chair of the Lexington Main Street Steering Committee. “Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to see how we can best integrate our efforts with the number of groups already doing great things in Lexington” Langman continued.

During the visit, Steering Committee members from Lexington met with Chillicothe Main Street Board President Staci Baker and Executive Director Micah Landes. “They were very gracious and offered very helpful information that Main Street Lexington can digest and decide how to tailor to their own needs” stated Councilman Harold Bonanomi. Following the meeting, the visitors from Lexington were given a downtown walking tour of Chillicothe from Micah Landes and the history of various projects ranging from murals to building retrofits.

Friday’s delegation from Lexington included Harold Bonanomi - Ward 1 City Councilman, Main Street Lexington Steering Committee members Chip Langman – Chair, Richard Chinnery – Vice Chair, Pandora Kuhnlein, Dee Gee Rivers, and community members Jim Kuhnlein and Sharon Langman.

The Lexington Main Street Committee’s next public meeting will be Monday, March 24th at 5:00 PM in the Lexington City Council Chambers located at 919 Franklin Street.


Main Street Chillicothe Recieves Accreditation

by Ben White, Director 25. March 2014 16:08

Attaining Accreditation from the National Main Street Program gives Main Street Chillicothe bragging rights among Missouri communities. This is the highest level of recognition a community can receive through the Missouri Main Street Connection and it confers the honor of both national and state accreditation.
To receive National and State Accredited status a community must reach the Main Street criteria standards each year and must have successfully completed the services provided by MMSC to the Selected Level Communities.
Offering congratulations to Main Street Chillicothe for this achievement were Gayla Roten, state director of MMSC, and Norma Ramírez de Miess, senior program officer of the National Trust Main Street Center.
“We are pleased to see how Main Street Chillicothe has proactively addressed planning, built partnerships with the city and other civic groups, and continued to expand its leadership base to be an effective instrument for implementing a comprehensive revitalization strategy,” Miess said.
The Missouri Main Street Program’s purpose is to create vibrant communities across the state. This effort is based on numerous recent studies showing that empowering individuals to develop their downtown motivates high achievement, where people will want to live, work and invest, making our state economically stronger.
The goal of the Main Street Center and Missouri Main Street program is to encourage preservation-based economic development through the Four-Point Approach:
Organization:  Working toward the same goal and assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a Main Street revitalization program
Promotion: Creating a positive image of the commercial district and encouraging consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district.
Design: Putting Main Street into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets, such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets is just part of the story.
Economic Restructuring: Strengthening the community’s existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base.
Missouri Main Street Connection provides communities with the tools needed to develop into thriving downtowns.
“These tools can be used to create jobs and build a sense of place that not only provides for current Missouri residents, but makes our communities more attractive to new residents and generations to come,” said Roten.
Communities selected for the accreditation review are evaluated using the annual evaluation process and accreditation criteria intended to assist each community in performing up to national accreditation standards, as prescribed by the National Main Street Center. Though it is a critical moment for a Missouri Main Street community to become Accredited, it is equally important for the community to maintain the Accreditation status once it has been earned.
Missouri Main Street’s mission is to enhance the social, cultural and environmental well being of historic downtown business districts located in Missouri’s diverse cities and towns, through education using the Main Street Four Point Approach to Revitalization, as developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The mission is based on the principle that America’s historic commercial districts are a valuable asset that is worth preserving, and that they can contribute to the total economic vitality of their communities.


Main Street Chillicothe attends Missouri Main Street Showcase

by Ben White, Director 25. March 2014 16:05

Missouri state legislators and visitors from communities throughout Missouri attended a reception January 27 in Jefferson City at the G3 Gallery, hosted by the Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc.

The event showcased the communities that participate in the revitalization efforts of the Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC) and also the winners of the Missouri Downtown Revitalization Awards which were presented by MMSC last summer in Kansas City at the Annual Downtown Revitalization Conference.

MMSC is a state-wide program offering education and mentoring in downtown revitalization strategies using the Main Street Four-Point ApproachR to revitalization as developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The approach is a comprehensive methodology addressing all components of revitalization including organization, design, economic restructuring and promotions, all within the context of historic preservation.

Economic data was shared with the legislators that is collected locally by the communities participating in the Missouri Main Street program. This date shows the strength and vitality of these communities using of the Main Street Four-Point ApproachR. The following data was collected over the past eight years:

 $625,692,098 of private investment, including exterior facade improvements, restoration, interior building improvements and new construction.

 $2,234 of private investment for every dollar appropriated to the Missouri Main Street Connection by the State of Missouri

 $114 million of infrastructure improvements by municipal governments

 $298 net new businesses

 2,163 net new jobs. Cost to DED for creating each new job: $129 based on appropriations to MMSC.

 159,899 total volunteer hours donated to Missouri Main Street communities representing over $3.4 million based on IRS volunteer hourly rate ($21.36)

Missouri Main Street Connection is currently providing revitalization training and mentoring to 145 communities in the state, plus Main Street accreditation services


Investing in Downtown

by Ben White, Director 25. March 2014 15:58
 Main Street Chillicothe, an organization that is working to preserve the heritage of our community while promoting economic growth downtown. Our Team, Board of Directors, and Committees are dedicated to making downtown Chillicothe a bustling hub of activity now, and for years to come. Our organization is dedicated to the process of making that happen, but we need your help.
As Main Street Chillicothe continues its mission of revitalizing Chillicothe’s historic district, it is clear that this work requires the participation of dozens-even hundreds-of people. Obviously, this work also requires financial support. Main Street Chillicothe, being a not-for-profit organization, depends on investors such as community members and area businesses in order to complete our mission of preserving, protecting and promoting downtown Chillicothe. All residents are asked to become a stakeholder in downtown and play a vital role in the success of the local downtown organization. Investments help make the downtown a place where families gather, shoppers frequent, festivals and activities abound, and great amenities entice people from near and far. Consider investing in the heart of a great community and preserving a piece of the past for decades to come.
Contact Main Street Chillicothe by email, 660-646-4071 or stop by the Commerce Center at 514 Washington St. Investments are considered a tax deductible contribution.


A Special Memory by guest blogger, Kris Daniel

by Ben White, Director 9. October 2013 18:14

A Special Memory--Shopping at the Five and Dime

By Kris Daniel

            As I was going through my mother's belongings after her recent passing, I came across a sparkling array of earrings, necklaces, brooches and brackets.  I loved looking at this extensive but inexpensive collection of jewelry--strand after strand of simulated pearls, faux sapphires and bright shiny rhinestones.  One piece, in particular, caught my eye and brought back fond memories of a special shopping excursion to Woolworth's Five and Dime.  

             I must have been six or seven when my dad loaded my sister, brother and myself into the old Dodge and headed to town to buy mom's Christmas present.  Not having more than a dollar or two, we skipped the jewelry stores and headed right for the five and dime.  The candy counter lured us first, with its chocolate-covered peanuts, orange slices, and my favorite, the malted milk balls.  What I would give for a little white sack of that candy today!  But we were on a mission that night, and candy wasn't on the Christmas list.  Down the aisles we went, looking at the hankies with their lacy edges, the white cotton gloves every real lady surely had to have, the stationary, the knick-knacks and the bric-a-brac.   Oh how I loved the figurines.  Surely mom would want a little pink pig, a poodle or a puppy.  Having spent countless Saturday mornings in the store,  picking out the perfect figurine for my collection, I knew just which ones mom would like best.  And they were only a dime, a quarter if you got a really good one!  But we were supposed to be shopping for mom not me, so no minature glass mouse would be going home with us that night.  The baby-dolls, Erector Sets and Lincoln Logs would all have to wait, although I'm certain Santa knew just what we wanted before the night was over.

             It was when dad steered us to the jewelry department that we knew we had struck gold.  Gold and and silver and diamonds--the perfect gift for mom!  And there it was, a big blue brooch, a swirl-shaped thing of beauty.  Mom would love it and surely she would wear it everywhere.  How excited we were to find such a treasure!  And we had just enough money--a dollar ninety-nine.  I don't recall mom ever wearing this precious piece of jewelry but it was saved in its original box, stored away in her dresser drawer for nearly sixty years.  It was a special moment when I came across it and remembered that Christmas shopping trip so long ago.

             For me Woolworth's was a special place--a place where you could buy anything and everything--Big Chief tablets, baby turtles, marbles, crepe paper, jacks.  You name it, they had it.  The store stood like a giant in the afternoon shadow of the courthouse, luring me in with all its treasures.  If I had a dime, or even a nickel, I was in paradise.  Oh, what fun it was!         


Chillicothe Wins Three Downtown Revitalization Awards

by Ben White, Director 31. July 2013 09:28


Chillicothe won three downtown revitalization awards during the Evening of Excellence dinner and awards ceremony on July 25, at the Missouri Main Street Revitalization Conference in Kansas City held at the historic Hotel Phillips. Main Street Chillicothe accepted the award for Best Economic Restructuring Project for Black & Red Friday; Heritage Travel Award for Mural Tours; and Best Façade Renovation under $10k went to The Healthy Living Store.

The Award was for Chillicothe’s special event, “Black and Red Friday” in the category that recognizes outstanding achievement in planning and implementation by an Economic Restructuring Committee, in cooperation with a local development organization. The concept began when Chillicothe’s Economic Restructuring Committee considered the impact of Black Friday advertising campaigns by the Big Box stores upon small retailers who have a hard time competing for sales during what many say is the largest shopping day of the holiday season. To beat the big box retailers to the punch, Main Street Chillicothe and Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce teamed up to offer an alternative to shoppers. They called it “Black and Red Friday” in honor of the local high school’s spirit colors. It is part of a wider plan to promote spending locally throughout the year, called “Local First: Think Local, Buy Local, Be Local.”

Main Street Chillicothe, Inc. accepted the Heritage Travel Award for tours of the downtown murals. Chillicothe’s outdoor murals, mounted on buildings throughout the commercial district, tell a story around every corner of this historic downtown. Each one transports the viewer into a by-gone era and celebrates an important part of the town’s rich history and heritage. Over 20 larger-than-life, breath-taking murals include tell the visual story of trains, automobiles, a brick factory, a business college, a retailer, a bank, a fire brigade and many streetscapes. The Mural Tour can be conducted by tour guides or self-guided. Tours take place almost daily throughout the season, sometimes on foot, sometimes in cars or motor coaches.

The final award of the evening went to The Healthy Living Store for its Best Façade Renovation under $10,000. The store has been part of the downtown since the mid 2000s. This newer addition to the community has grown and adapted to the ever-changing economy and needs of residents. With these changes came an exterior face-lift of epic proportions. Once the metal was removed, a beautiful brick façade was revealed. Although it needed some minimal cleaning, the brick itself was in pristine condition except for a few spots where the brick had been chipped away from securing the faux metal façade. The building owner worked with Main Street Chillicothe’s Design Committee to choose a fitting historic color scheme for the exterior that matched their store design, along with new second-story windows to replace the old ones. The cost was minimal, but the result was one that had the town talking.

The evening awards event capped off three days of more than 40 educational workshops and in-the-field educational sessions, sponsored by Missouri Main Street Connection. Chillicothe had six conference attendees and two sessions were presented by local individuals including Crystal Narr, Lindy Chapman, and Amy Supple. The Main Street Chillicothe program was recognized as a state and nationally accredited Main Street program and Crystal Narr was recognized for her six years of dedication to the local program.

The conference culminated with the Evening of Excellence, and awards recognizing achievements in downtown revitalization were presented in 18 categories. Competition for the awards came from all across the state of Missouri. Chillicothe also had semi-finalists in three other categories: Brandy Sensenich for Volunteer of the Year; and the Collaborative Flower Pot Program for Outstanding Community Partnership.

Pictured L to R: Kate Lyons, 2013 NWSMU Summer Intern; Crystal Narr, Previous Executive Director; & Jena Eskew, Previous Assistant


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