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Marion, Iowa (7/27/21) – Uptown Marion Main Street hosted Kathy La Plante, Senior Program Officer and Director of Coordinating Program Services at Main Street America to review the Main Street program’s progress and provide recommendations for the Uptown district. Main Street America is a national organization that seeks to revitalize downtowns through preservation-based economic development, and this visit is part of a partnership with Main Street Iowa. As part of the partnership visit, Kathy La Plante toured the downtown and met with Main Street Board and committee members, as well as local elected officials.

“I was impressed with the caliber of staff, board members and volunteers who are working extremely hard for Uptown Marion and the entire city. The resiliency of this city is so impressive; to get through the COVID pandemic and the derecho with new businesses opening, events happening and tackling a huge streetscape project,” said Kathy La Plante; “The support and cooperation between the City, Chamber, and Uptown is equally as impressive and we know that communities that have strong connections, are the most successful.”

The purpose of the Main Street Iowa Partnership Visit is to give the local Main Street Board of Directors, Main Street staff, and other community partners an opportunity to celebrate the progress and accomplishments of the past year; evaluate the efforts made to implement the Main Street program; determine necessary steps to maintain Main Street America Accreditation; and discuss any technical assistance needed from the state Main Street Program.

The Uptown Marion Main Street Organization is an accredited Main Street America program. Uptown Marion’s performance is annually evaluated by Main Street Iowa, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet 10 national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building meaningful and sustainable revitalization programs and include standards such as, fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively revitalizing historic buildings.

“The ability for a local Main Street program to consistently incorporate fresh ideas and new leadership perspectives into the revitalization process helps ensure a vibrant future for the community’s economic opportunities,” comment Michael Wagler, Main Street Iowa State Coordinator. “This visit focused on partnerships and enhancing local communication that are the foundation for a strong local development effort.”


Uptown Marion is a nationally accredited Main Street Iowa district that drives continued revitalization, growth, and preservation of historic character through appropriate design, promotion, and economic strategies that improve the local community. For mor information, visit

Main Street Iowa is a program of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center. Main Street Iowa exists to improve the social and economic well-being of Iowa’s communities by assisting selected communities to capitalize on the unique identity, assets and character of their historic commercial district. Main Street is economic development within the context of historic preservation. In addition to a revitalization framework, Main Street Iowa also provides technical assistance services to communities who made the revitalization of their downtown or traditional commercial district an economic development priority. As one of 55 designated Main Street Iowa programs, your community can take advantage of a variety of training, leadership development and technical assistance opportunities to designated Main Street programs to build the capacity of the local revitalization effort. For more information, visit

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for 40 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $89.57 billion in new public and private investment, generated 687,321 net new jobs and 154,435 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 303,836 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, visit

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