Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee announced today that the Orlando Main Streets program has been designated the July 2019 Florida Main Street Program of the Month. Programs are selected based on their development achievements and participation in the national Main Street America program.
“The districts that make up Orlando Main Streets are recognized due to their diversity and community involvement,” said Secretary Lee. “These districts have worked tremendously hard over the past decade to ensure the neighborhoods that reflect the rich history and vibrant city of Orlando continue to flourish.”
The area surrounding present-day Orlando was initially settled as Fort Gatlin in 1838 during the Second Seminole War. In 1843, Fort Gatlin was renamed Jernigan after the first permanent settler, Aaron Jernigan. The name remained until 1857 when the town was renamed Orlando, though the true origin of the name remains a mystery. The city was eventually incorporated in 1875.
In the 19th century, Orlando’s economy was cemented in its booming cattle and citrus industry. Orlando transitioned into a hub for the tourism industry in the 20th century, most notably with the opening of Walt Disney World in October 1971.
The Orlando Main Streets program was established in 2008 and celebrated its 10th anniversary last June. The Orlando Main Streets program has been extremely successful in bringing a more diverse economy to the city. Currently there are ten urban districts that the Orlando Main Streets program oversees. The Main Street districts include Audubon Park Garden District, College Park Main Street, Church Street District, Ivanhoe Village Main Street, Mills 50 District, The Milk District, SoDo District and Thornton Park District. Curry Ford West and Gateway Orlando District are part of the Market Street districts, which were created by the city of Orlando for areas that do not meet the historic preservation component required for national accreditation.
Church Street District, Orlando, Fl
Since their program’s designation, Orlando Main Streets has seen 1,086 new businesses and 6,494 jobs created with more than $1 billion combined public and private investments. At the end of this month, Orlando will host the 34th Florida Main Street Annual Conference in its historic Church Street District.
“It is important to recognize the role our districts play in the overall health of the city’s neighborhoods,” said Orlando Main Streets Administrator Pauline Eaton. “Our Orlando Main Street districts and Market Street districts create, define and strengthen our commercial areas in the city while also creating opportunities and one-of-a-kind experiences for both residents and visitors.”
For more information on Orlando Main Streets and their 10 districts visit orlandomainstreets.com. For more information on the Florida Main Street program visit floridamainstreet.com or facebook.com/FloridaMainStreet.
About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 46 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul.