Georgia's 32nd Main Street City!
Fort Valley Main Street is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Fort Valley's downtown area as the cultural, social, and shopping center of our community. Georgia was one of six pilot states to begin a statewide program of downtown economic development in 1980 called Main Street.
Fort Valley became the state's 32nd Main Street City in 1991 when a number of dedicated local residents set a goal of restoring downtown as the center of community activity. This dream is becoming reality.
The Fort Valley Main Street Program is based on the simple but effective four-point approach originated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Main Street is a comprehensive revitalization process that improves all aspects of a commercial district.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach™ is a comprehensive strategy tailored to meet local needs and opportunities. It encompasses work in four distinct areas — Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotion and Organization — that are combined to address all of the commercial district's needs.
The Main Street Approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets: distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.
To help achieve its goal, Fort Valley Main Street contacted the University of Georgia in 1998 to develop a comprehensive Streetscape Plan for downtown. With the implementation of the plan came the landscaping of Fincher Park, construction of a Victorian bandstand, a chiming clock and fountain, all with private funds. The second phase includes new streetlights, sidewalks and the addition of an irrigation system.
Offices of Main Street, the Chamber of Commerce, the Development Authority of Peach County, The Peach Festival and the Welcome Center have moved into the Troutman House. The 1850s plantation house has been restored by a combination of state grants and private donations.
The biggest project to date has been the restoration of the former Austin (Peach) Theatre. The historic building has been restored to its former glory and has become the center of social and cultural activity for the community as well as a symbol of success for the organization.
To continue the rebirth of downtown Fort Valley, Main Street:
- Sponsors and assists with special events and generic advertising to bring customers into downtown.
- Provides information about available downtown properties to new and relocating businesses.
- Provides design assistance to property owners who are renovating or restoring their buildings.
- Administers a matching façade grant program provided by the city to encourage façade restoration.
- Provides consultations, information and referrals to new and existing businesses.
- Publishes a newsletter to keep members and volunteers informed.
- Serves as a liaison between business and property owners and the City of Fort Valley to find solutions to problems.
- Aggressively pursues redevelopment of threatened areas or properties through the Downtown Development Authority.
Memberships are available to anyone who is interested in downtown and wants to play a part in the future development of the area. Members and volunteers serve on committees, which are actively involved with design issues, special events, economic development, and concerns for downtown’s future growth and development.
Whatever your interest, there is a place for you in the Fort Valley Main Street Program. Call 478-825-5986 for more information.
Fort Valley Main Street strives to preserve Fort Valley’s rich heritage and culture and ensure its future as a vibrant center of commerce, development and community activity.
Fort Valley Main Street seeks to revitalize downtown Fort Valley through economic restructuring, cultural tourism and promotional event planning, in concert with public and private sector partners.