October 26, 2020 | Greater Ashmont Main Street: 2020 Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist Spotlight |
Greater Ashmont Main Street worked to improve walkability by recruiting artists to paint murals throughout the district. Credit: Greater Ashmont Main Street
On Oct. 30, we’ll announce the three winners of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA). In anticipation of the big reveal, we’re highlighting one GAMSA semifinalist per day on our blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from Oct. 20 -29. We’ll not only spotlight their impressive efforts from previous years, but we’ve also checked in with each community to hear about how their downtowns have been impacted by the pandemic, how their programs have responded, and advice they’d give to other Main Street communities.
Greater Ashmont Main Street • Boston, MA
Year Founded: 1999 | Population: 695,000 | Square Blocks in Commercial District: 11
Greater Ashmont Main Street has become an active, walkable district with inviting public spaces and vibrant shops and restaurants that embrace the area’s diversity. Anchored by a large transit hub, Greater Ashmont Main Street has implemented a range of people-centered placemaking projects to connect this formerly bifurcated district and bring more foot traffic downtown. They have also supported the growth of the small business community by actively courting new businesses to the district and encouraging residents to invest in local businesses. Using a data-driven approach, Greater Ashmont Main Street even developed a model to determine which businesses were of highest need in the district.
After extensive community feedback, Greater Ashmont Main Street created a public plaza for community gathering in historic Peabody Square and brought in four mixed-income residential projects. They raised more than $96,000 for the project, which was completed in May 2019. To improve walkability in the district, Greater Ashmont Main Street made small-scale improvements to the corridor by recruiting artists to paint murals throughout the district, installing planters along the 1.1-mile stretch, and partnering with businesses in the district to upgrade their signs and storefronts. With a linear park aimed at creating even more continuity and walkability on the way, Greater Ashmont Main Street has spurred an impressive transformation.
Follow Greater Ashmont Main Street on social media to keep up with their efforts:
Join us as we announce the GAMSA winners on Oct. 30 at 12pm EST during a special Main Street plenary at PastForward, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s digital conference. The plenary is free to attend but registration is required! Tune in to the awards ceremony by registering for the session via Zoom or the PastForward site. We will also be streaming the ceremony via Facebook Live.#Blogs