Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DRC celebrates its 30 years of service Downtown

The Downtown Racine Corporation is  celebrating its 30 years of service to the Downtown community with a number of activities during August, including:

  •  DRC Membership Discount -- A 30% discount off membership fees for new members during August.
  •  Free Cake and Lemonade -- On Friday, Aug. 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during Music on the Monument complimentary cake and lemonade will be served and free balloons will be given away.
  • Got Clocks? -- DRC's ambassadors will give away a "Got Clocks?" t-shirt every day during August to someone viewing one of Racine's 60 clocks of Hour Town, Racine's 2010 public art project.
  • Pearl Jam – Because pearls are the symbol of a 30th anniversary, Art Metals Studio is creating a pearl pendant, worth over $1,000.  Entry boxes will be at Art Metals Studio (332 Main Street), the DRC office (425 Main Street), Moxie Child (304 6th Street) and the Downtown Information Kiosk.  The winning name will be drawn by Chris Sklba of Art Metals Studio on Saturday, Sept. 11, during the “Clocks on the Auction Block” public art auction. (Entries are limited to one per day, per location.)
  • Share Your Memories of Downtown Racine -- Do you have a favorite story or photo (old or new) from Downtown Racine?  Submit your photo / story to DRC's office or by e-mail  A photo collage of the past 30 years will be assembled and displayed at the DRC office.  Everyone who submits photographs or stories will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Downtown gift certificate.
The Downtown Racine Corporation (DRC) is a non-profit organization serving as the voice of Downtown Racine, facilitating, coordinating and catalyzing efforts to enhance the image and functionality of Downtown, attracting new businesses, residents and visitors. 

DRC's origins date to the 1970s, as business Downtown declined.  In the mid-70s, Downtown's small-business owners formed the North of Fourth group, hoping to revitalize the neighborhood. This group became Old Main Street Inc., which worked with the city to install more energy-efficient street lights, plant trees along sidewalks, create alliances among store owners and draw more Racine residents to the central business district.

In 1980, a community effort was introduced to restore the historic downtown area of the city and the Downtown Racine Development Corporation was formed.  Old Main Street Inc. and the Downtown Racine Development Corporation joined to become what is known today as the Downtown Racine Corporation.

The rest is history:

    * The harbor was transformed
    * Festival Hall was built
    * The Johnson Building was built.
    * The Racine Art Museum was created in an empty bank building.
    * The Downtown Business Improvement District #1 was created, the Root River Pathway was constructed and the bus transfer station was moved to State Street
    * Numerous housing developments have been built including Belle Harbor Lofts, Mitchell Wagon Factory Lofts, Riverbend Lofts, The Harbor at State and Main and The Atwater at Gaslight Point
    * Monument Square was renovated.
    * Main Street and 6th Streets were rebuilt  with new sidewalks, roadway and amenities