Florida Main Street
Program of the Month
March 2012 Program of the Month
Eau Gallie Arts District MainStreet
Secretary Detzner Designates Eau Gallie Arts District MainStreet Florida Main Street Program of the Month
Recognizes organization's contribution to preservation and restoration
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced Eau Gallie Arts District Main Street as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for March 2012. The selection for this award is based on the Eau Gallie Arts District's involvement and active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.
"One of the newer Main Street Communities, Eau Gallie Arts District, is a wonderful addition to the Main Street Program" said Secretary of State Ken Detzner, "Eau Gallie, successfully combines their love of the arts with their appreciation for local history. Eau Gallie residents are committed to the revitalization and beautification of their historic downtown area and their efforts have already yielded positive results."
The Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD) is located in Melbourne, Florida. EGAD was designated a Main Street community in 2010 and, although the program is a new one, EGAD is also situated in one of Florida's oldest cities. Founded by William Henry Gleason, and named for the scores of coquina rocks that line the shore of the Indian River, Eau Gallie, meaning "rocky water," has a beautiful natural landscape that helped draw early settlers to the area. The Indian River was central to the lives of these Eau Gallie residents. The river was a source of sustenance and also served as an important transportation route. When the railroad reached Eau Gallie in the 1890s it did much to grow the city's economy. With reliable railways, residents were able to engage in more large-scale agriculture and timber operations.
The town continued to grow when US-1 was completed in the 1920s; and this new highway brought more and more tourist dollars to Eau Gallie. Eau Gallie prospered until the Great Depression ushered in more trying economic times. Eau Gallie, along with the greater Melbourne area, rebounded from the Great Depression when WWII brought a military, aviation and technological presence to Eau Gallie that was followed by a flood of new residents who were tied to America's space program. Amidst all this urban development, the Indian River remains an important part of the landscape. Eau Gallie residents still flock to its waters for fishing, boating and other water sports.
Eau Gallie residents have a proud historical and artistic heritage—the area was once home to writer and folklorist Zora Neal Hurston. The historic downtown area is lined with restored buildings that are now home to businesses and retail shops. EGAD Main Street is bustling with restaurants, museums and art galleries. Though Eau Gallie has grown significantly in the last hundred years, it is still a very friendly and close-knit community. As a Main Street program, EGAD draws people downtown by combining the congenial spirit of a small town with the cosmopolitan sensibility of a vibrant arts district. It is a place where residents and visitors alike gather together for everything from political rallies to fish frys.
The Florida Main Street Program designated EGAD in 2010. As a Florida Main Street Community, EGAD has attracted a net gain of 7 new businesses and 13 jobs, as well as attracted investments of nearly $80,000 in 5 public and private construction projects. Dedicated community members have contributed nearly 5,000 volunteer hours to their Main Street Program. Eau Gallie has seen great gains even in its short time as Main Street Community.
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 EGAD Main Street!, contact program manager Jillian Burghardt by phone at 321.752.0463 or e-mail email@example.com