Last week was NATIONAL PRESERVATION WEEK. As a Historical Society, preservation is our job. Fifteen years ago we started something big, we began restoring the Old Community Church on Maine Avenue, a part of town that the County labeled slum and blighted.
We are not alone in our preservation efforts. For the last nine years the Maine Avenue Revitalization Association has been working on the restoration and beautification of our historic district. This organization has built new facades, painted buildings, purchased awnings and signage, swept streets, helped businesses get a face lift and even paid their rent on occasion.
All this was accomplished with funds raised at their annual Western Street Dance and some Community Enhancement grants (which come from hotel tourist taxes). Residents and tourists are taking notice and beginning to appreciate the quaintness of Maine Avenue. Last week another TV personality was in town filming what looks like a remake of "Mayberry, RFD."
The best thing about Maine Avenue is the variety of buildings. We have one or two from every decade. Two buildings date back to 1890s, one from 1905, 1910, 1915, the 20's 30's 40's 50's, 60's 70's 80's and clear up to the newest building, Payton Hardware, which was a 1990's building in the old fashioned style.
The next time you come to Lakeside, take a stroll down Maine Avenue and see for yourself all the wonderful revitalization work that been accomplished by the Maine Avenue Revitalization Association. Betty McMillen