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Stuart Main Street Designated Florida Main Street Program of the Month

seal of florida

Florida Department of State
Dawn K. Roberts
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
July 01, 2010

Joan Jefferson

Stuart Main Street Designated Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Interim Secretary of State Dawn K. Roberts announced today that Stuart Main Street has been designated the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for July 2010. Selection for this award is based on a record of active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.

"We are honored to confer this designation on Stuart Main Street," remarked Secretary Roberts. "As one of the earliest programs to join the Florida Main Street family, Stuart has continued to exemplify the merits of historic preservation in the revitalization of Florida communities."

Stuart is located on Florida's "Treasure Coast," named for a series of Spanish galleons which shipwrecked in the area during the 1700s while transporting gold and silver from the Americas. Early pioneers began farming citrus in the area in the early 19th century, and a permanent settlement was established on the barrier island immediately east of Stuart as early as 1811, resulting from a Spanish land grant to James Hutchinson. This island would later be named "Hutchinson Island."

Settlement in the Stuart area grew slowly until 1895, when the population began to grow rapidly with the arrival of the Florida East Coast Railway. The town of Stuart was incorporated in 1914. Population in southeast Florida soon exploded with the onset of the Florida land boom in the 1920s. By the time Stuart was chartered as a city in 1925, the area's population had grown enough that it was necessary to create a new county, Martin County, from portions of adjoining St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties.

Today, Stuart's economy is driven by the healthcare industry, retail, and other service-related businesses, and at the center of it all is a thriving Main Street program area. To promote downtown commerce, Stuart Main Street holds several events throughout the year, including a music series and downtown market. Major annual events organized by Stuart Main Street include Dancin' in the Street, the Spring Craft Show, the Stuart Stroll, and the Treasure Coast Pirate Fest.

Since designation in 1987, Stuart Main Street's program area has seen 196 public and private revitalization projects worth a total value of more than $173 million. During the same period, the community has benefited from a net increase of 110 new businesses in the program area, producing 465 new jobs. Local residents have dedicated over 1,800 volunteer hours to Stuart Main Street's revitalization efforts.

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