Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
January 2004
The Wisconsin Main Street Program – Three Projects Highlight What Main Street Can Do For Your Downtown
The Wisconsin Main Street Program works to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of downtowns throughout the state. The Main Street Program uses a four-point approach -- design, organization, economic restructuring and promotion -- to help communities realize success. The following are projects that highlight what the Main Street Program can do for Wisconsin’s communities.

R.W. Chadbourne Place, Columbus
The historic first National Bank building had been vacated and was put up for sale by its most recent occupant, Associated Bank. Once Associated Bank left, the interior was an unfinished shell. After attending a seminar on community-initiated development, Columbus Main Street decided to purchase the building and gathered community support for its restoration. The building was then renamed the R.W. Chadbourne Place, in honor of the bank’s founder. The original bank vault was restored and converted into sales space for gifts, artwork, and books. In the main lobby, a small turn-of-the-century village was replicated, complete with historic-looking facades and carriages. These unique spaces act as display areas for merchandise.

Penopoly Gala, Pewaukee
Fund raising events are vital to many Wisconsin Main Street communities. Positively Pewaukee, the Pewaukee Main Street program, developed the theme of Penopoly for its fundraiser. The organization set a goal of $15,140 – the exact amount of money in a Monopoly board game. Two hundred individuals attended the event, which included a "jail" that required guests to purchase get-out-of-jail-free cards; a silent auction; and the opportunity to play the three giant Penopoly board games by purchasing "properties." Positively Pewaukee raised over $15,300 at the event and created more interest in Pewaukee’s annual fundraiser.

Hotel Hilton/Turtle Creek Bookstore, Beloit
Once a prominent hotel in downtown Beloit, the historic Hotel Hilton was a deteriorated building that was being used as a rooming house. The city, community residents, and Beloit Main Street worked together to ensure the success of rehabilitating the structure. The restoration included removing aluminum siding that was covering the brick. The upper floor guestrooms were converted into luxury apartments. The original ground floor lobby and dining hall were converted into the Beloit College Turtle Creek Bookstore, with a courtyard and patio for customers and residents. The basement was converted into classroom space for Blackhawk Technical College. The variety of businesses in the completed project brought a new vibrancy to the building and the surrounding downtown.

For more information on the state’s Main Street Program, contact Jim Engle at (608) 267-0766.

--Donna Baldwin-Haut, Tom Clippert, Jim Engle, Judy Goodson, and Joe Lawinczak contributed to this article.

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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