FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
While Springfield already knew that Historic C-Street is a great place, the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association has made it official. APA has announced the designation of four Great Places in Missouri in 2018, and Commercial Street is the Great Street on the list.
“On behalf of the Commercial Street CID board, I want to try to express just how grateful and excited we are to be named a Great Place. Truth be told, we already knew we were great, but it is nice to have it made official,” said CID board chair Gregg Johnson. “So many people have worked, sacrificed, and taken chances in order to make the C-Street area THE destination to eat, shop, drink, and see your friends. If you haven’t been to C-Street lately, come on over and see what all the hubbub is about.”
“What a great honor it is to receive this award,” said Leslie-Ann Padilla, manager, Chabom Teas + Spices. “Our mighty little historic district, and the businesses within it have been working hard to bring this part of Springfield back to life. This award helps remind all of Springfield, the surrounding areas, and beyond, that there's more to Springfield shopping and dining than downtown and the south side.”
“This is a great honor for Commercial Street and our community, signaling the emergence of Historic C-Street as one of Springfield's favorite tourist destinations," said Commercial Club President Mary Collette.
APA Missouri will recognize the 2018 Great Places in Missouri designees at a ceremony at 11 a.m. Jan. 31 in the State Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City.
The Great Places in Missouri program was started in 2014 to recognize neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces throughout Missouri that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning- attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire residents and visitors alike. The Great Places in Missouri program was modeled after APA’s Great Places in America program that has recognized 275 neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces around the country since 2007.
“The 2018 Great Places in Missouri awardees reveal the critical role of planning in our communities,” said Hilary Perkins, AICP, president of APA Missouri. “These are vibrant places that carry rich stories and lessons on ways to bring people together, build a sense of community, and form strong relationships between citizens and their city, while driving economic growth and support for local business. We see these places as great examples of what good planning can create. We congratulate the awardees on the fine distinction of being a Great Street in Missouri.”
According to its nomination, which was submitted by City of Springfield Public Works Transportation Planner Dawne Gardner, “the six-block local and National Register Historic District corridor is located in the oldest part of Springfield. It has always enjoyed the grassroots support of local businesses and property owners advocating for its preservation and pursuing resources and incentives for continued investment."
The Commercial Club was established in the early 1900s and is comprised of merchants, residents and property owners. The club actively promotes and advocates for the district through activities like purchasing and displaying public art throughout the district, some underfoot in the form of beautiful mosaics. The street boasts storefronts offering a diverse range of international and regional dining, antique and flea shopping, creative and maker spaces, exciting event spaces, hair salons, tattoo storefronts and yoga studios, offices, a boutique hotel and lofts, (some of which are available for short-term rental) pubs and great entertainment spots, a bakery, chocolate factory and a microbrewery.
An iconic site on C-Street is the Historic Jefferson Avenue Footbridge, constructed in 1902, which spans 13 tracks of the BNSF railyard. A Saturday open- air market from April through October provides access to healthy foods and local wares, while a variety of annual street festivals throughout the year such as Pets and Pumpkins, Heroes and Holidays and Summer Solstice Art Fair bring residents of all ages together. In 2009, the Commercial Street Community Improvement District was established and assists in maintenance and development of the corridor while residents and businesses have incorporated sustainable design and green development.
C-Street is a target area for the City’s Brownfields Program, helping to characterize and assess over 20 redevelopment properties. Historic C-Street truly epitomizes a great street as it brings people together to both preserve important historic assets but also plan for the future.”
C-Street is also home to Springfield’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Thriller on Commercial Street and White River Brewing Company’s Street Fest. Learn more about C-Street at historiccstreet.com.
For more information, please contact Mary Collette, president, Commercial Club of Springfield, at 417-839-0119 or Gregg Johnson, CID board chair, at 417-895-4557.