Florida Main Street
Program of the Month
March 2008 Program of the Month
Lincoln Park Mainstreet
Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning Announces Florida Main Street Program of the MonthSecretary of State Kurt S. Browning announced today that the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for March 2008 is the Lincoln Park district in the City of Fort Pierce. This community's designation as a Florida Main Street Program in 2006 was only the second time the state program has selected a unique neighborhood and commercial district within an incorporated city that has an established Main Street Program. Lincoln Park Mainstreet's selection as the Program of the Month comes less than 18 months since its inception.
"The Lincoln Park community has shown outstanding resolve toward its preservation and revitalization efforts," commented Secretary Browning. "The remarkable building and infrastructure improvements in this district are of significant value to both Fort Pierce and the state."
Lincoln Park has historical roots dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Following incorporation in 1901, Fort Pierce grew and began expanding north and west toward Moore Creek. A settlement called Edgartown, primarily a residential district, soon emerged, and later became known as Lincoln Park. As families began to populate Edgartown, there was a growing need for a commercial district within the community. When businesses began flocking toward the centralized Avenue D, Edgartown grew quickly. In the 1920s and 30s, many African-American families and businesses who moved to the area found success along Avenue D, which soon became the economic heart of the area. Family-owned barber shops, grocery stores, churches, restaurants, and a movie theater along Avenue D created the economic and cultural foundation for a predominantly African-American community which still thrives in Lincoln Park to this day.
Since the late 1960s, the Lincoln Park community had been in decline. Unemployment rose, giving way to increased crime rates, business vacancies, and ultimately, increased drug and gang activity and building deterioration. The community began its own revitalization efforts with streetscape and other infrastructure projects, removal of substandard housing units, and construction of the Willie B. Ellis police substation.
In only 18 months since becoming a Florida Main Street Community, Lincoln Park Mainstreet has benefited from over $2 million in private investment toward new construction and building rehabilitation. A new Human Development and Resource Center nears completion in 2008, located at the west end of the district at 29th Street and Avenue D. Local investors continue to support the community, and the district remains committed to renewing its roots.
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 Lincoln Park Mainstreet, contact Ms. Elise Rollins, Lincoln Park Business Association at 772.940.8446.