The question of “What is the difference between Main Street Gettysburg and Olde Getty Place (an Elm Street Program) is asked often. The answer includes locations and targeted focus – residential and commercial.
The Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC), the Pennsylvania State’s administrator for both Main Street and Elm Street Programs, provides the following explanation of Elm Street Programs on their website:
“Inspired by the widespread, positive impact that the Pennsylvania Main Street program has had in revitalizing the commonwealth's downtowns and urban corridors, in 2004 Representative Robert Freeman's proposed the Elm Street Program, a similar, integrated approach to revitalization of Pennsylvania's older residential areas bordering Main Streets and central business districts.” His reason was…“Too many of the nation’s urban neighborhoods have fallen into disrepair. Disinvestment, outmigration and aftershocks of urban renewal have left many of these history-rich communities battling for survival. In these “core communities,” Pennsylvania has a major untapped asset, and with help from an Elm Street program, these historic, authentic and unique neighborhoods can once again thrive, supporting the downtowns and commercial districts that they surround.”
The Olde Getty Place Elm Street area of Gettysburg, one of the most historic areas in Gettysburg, has been successful at improving their community and continues to work towards this opportunity.
The MSG and Olde Getty Place districts, are adjacent to each other and it is important that they work together for the betterment of the broader community. Main Street Gettysburg’s mission is similar; “To work with community partners for the preservation, revitalization and improvement of the Historic District of Gettysburg. MSG preserves the towns’ historic assets and stimulates economic growth.” The difference is that Main Street programs focus more on the commercial downtown areas versus Elm Street’s residential, however both organizations seek to improve the livability of the community.
For example, currently, MSG is working on an $11 million project, the Baltimore Street Economic Development Historic Pathway Revitalization Project, that directly connects with the lateral streets of Olde Getty Place. The plan includes slowing traffic, wider and safer sidewalks and improved school crossings that directly impacts the residents of Olde Getty Place. In addition, supporting Olde Getty Place’s future initiatives to revitalize Breckenridge Street is also in MSG’s Ten Year Economic Revitalization Plan. This helps to strengthen any revitalization grant requests that either MSG or Olde Getty Place seek.
When looking at the goals for the Olde Getty Place neighborhood: increasing community pride and sense of place, creating a positive image of the neighborhood, improving police-resident relationships, educating the public about the historic importance of the neighborhood, and allowing the residents to revitalize the physical aspects of the neighborhood through façade and sidewalk improvements, you can see common community values shared by the sister organizations and how important it is for the two small organizations to work together.
On Tuesday evening, August 7, from 5:00 until 8:00, MSG will have a table at Olde Getty Place’s National Night Out community event on Breckenridge Street. Everyone is invited to come and have fun with the family. Help us all make Gettysburg the best place to live, work and play.