Florida Main Street
Program of the Month
October 2012 Program of the Month
Ormond Beach Main Street
Secretary Detzner Designates Ormond Beach Florida Main Street Program of the Month
“Historic preservation is important to the state of Florida.” said Secretary Detzner. “I am happy to honor Ormond Beach Main Street for their continued commitment to the revitalization of their historic downtown. Main Street encourages the celebration of each program’s unique local history; and it is wonderful to see a community invest in their future by honoring their past.”
The city that is now Ormond Beach dates back from the time period immediately following the Civil War. Land on the peninsula was settled by J. Andrew Bostrom, a former Union soldier who was originally born in Sweden. In 1873 New Britain was established by a small community of New Englanders who were intent on making their living from citrus cultivation. In 1875, New Britain was subdivided into blocks and lots, with the original plat containing eleven streets. Of those 11 streets, four were located in present day downtown Ormond Beach.
In 1880, New Britain was incorporated and the town’s name was changed to Ormond, in honor of James Ormond III, descendant of an early British colonist. At this time, Ormond also adopted the banana tree as the town emblem. In June 1887, construction began on the St. Johns & Halifax River Railroad and the Ormond Hotel. Though these developments brought visitors to the city, it was not until Henry Flagler purchased the railroad and the hotel in 1889, and expanded them both, that people were drawn into the city. With the advent of the automobile, Ormond became known as, “the Birthplace of Speed.” The first car race was held on the beach in April, 1902. Downtown Ormond developed with the Florida Land Boom in the 1920s with neighborhoods that were largely Spanish Colonial, Italianate, and Mediterranean in style.
Today, many tourists flock to Ormond Beach to enjoy the beautiful beaches, Tomoka State Park, and the historic downtown area. Ormond Beach Main Street also hosts events such as the Ormond Beach Celtic Festival, and a weekly Farmer’s Market to continue to make their community the entertaining “Place to Go” for entertainment, dining, shopping, and other cultural activities.
The Florida Main Street Program designated Ormond Beach a Main Street Community in 1995. As a Florida Main Street Community, Ormond Beach has attracted a net gain of 87 new businesses and 1,306 jobs, as well as investments totaling over $71 million dollars in 204 public and private construction projects. Dedicated community members have contributed nearly 5,600 volunteer hours in their Main Street Program.
Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program of the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State. The Bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, and preserving Florida’s historic resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy for achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts. Since 1985 the Bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street Programs.
To learn more about Ormond Beach Main Street, contact program manager Maggie Sacks by phone at 386.451.2138 or email Maggie@ormondmainstreet.com