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Contact: Chris Cate
Communications Director

Secretary Browning Designates Main Street Fort Pierce as Florida Main Street Program of the Month

Recognizes organization’s contribution to preservation and restoration

Tallahassee, Florida –

Secretary of State Kurt Browning today announced Main Street Fort Pierce as the Florida Main Street Program of the Month for February 2012. The selection for this award is based on the Fort Pierce program’s involvement and active participation in the Florida Main Street Program.

“Fort Pierce is an exceptional community that has used the Main Street Four Point Approach to transform their downtown into a thriving commercial area,” said Secretary Browning. “The successful renovation of the Historic Sunrise Theater is a prime example of the endless possibilities that exist when Main Street communities are active and committed to their goals.”

Fort Pierce has the distinction of being one of the oldest communities on the east coast of Florida. The city’s rich history, along with its location along the Florida shoreline, has made it a favorite destination of sunbathing tourists and sporting fishermen. Also known as “The Sunrise City,” Fort Pierce is the county seat of St. Lucie County, an area well known for the Spanish explorers who were drawn to its shores.

Fort Pierce is part of the Treasure Coast, an area named for the Spanish galleons whose treasures sunk off the coast of St. Lucie in the 17th and 18th centuries.  In addition to being a city with a celebrated history, Fort Pierce is also home to state of the art educational and research facilities. Indian River State College, the Smithsonian Institution Research Center, the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and the Experimental Oculina Research Reserve are all located in Fort Pierce. As a community that highly values its history as well as its natural assets, Fort Pierce has invested in both preservation and conservation. Well known as a hot spot for manatee sightings, Fort Pierce is also home to the Manatee Observation & Education Center where the sea cows can frequently be spotted.

Fort Pierce received the 2011 Great American Main Street award from the National Trust Main Street Center. The award recognized Fort Pierce as an outstanding Main Street community, “whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive commercial district revitalization.” The revitalizations of the Historic Sunrise Theater, Historic City Hall and the A.E. Backus House are only a few examples of the many successful undertakings that the Fort Pierce Main Street program has initiated. Fort Pierce Main Street is also well known for their Farmer’s Market, which began in 1997 with only 12 vendors and now offers a vast array of products, from baked goods to pet supplies, and includes live music and special events.

The Florida Main Street Program designated Fort Pierce a Main Street Community in 1988. As a Florida Main Street Community, Fort Pierce has attracted a net gain of 106 new businesses and 530 jobs, as well as invested nearly $180 Million in 163 public and private construction projects. Dedicated community members have contributed more than 38,903 volunteer hours in their Main Street Program.

About the Florida Department of State’s Florida 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 Fort Pierce Main Street, contact program manager Doris Tillman by phone at 772.466.3880 or e-mail [email protected].