Connecticut Main Street Center


Vol.12, Issue 3

Inspiring great Connecticut downtowns, Main Street by Main Street.

Downtown Update

Newsletter of the Connecticut Main Street Center
Preservation of Place Grants Available Soon 

Fall is rapidly approaching, a sure sign that Preservation of Place (POP) grants will soon be available. Pending final confirmation from the State, CMSC expects to announce its sixth year of POP grant funding in early October. These grants are made possible by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and are funded through the Community Investment Act.


All CT Main Street members in good standing are eligible to apply for up to $10,000 in grant funds to plan for the preservation and revitalization of their historic Main Street districts.


Pre-applications must be submitted to determine eligibility to move on to the full application. The deadline for full application is November 20, 2012.


CT Main Street members can download information and the pre-application at

CT Office of the Arts Launches New Placemaking Program 


The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA), a division of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) recently unveiled their new Arts Catalyze Placemaking program. Through this pilot program, COA will invest in the State's arts-based cultural institutions, activities, programs and artists in ways that will advance Connecticut cities, towns and villages as meaningful communities in which to live, work, learn and play.


COA introduced the program at a series of statewide workshops in August. The competitive program addresses activities of a variety of sizes, from the very small to the very large. The Arts Catalyze Placemaking program will fund activities and projects which support creative placemaking goals, as well as provide sustaining support for arts-based organizations whose work is relevant and supports COA's creative placemaking goals.


The program consists of three distinct categories of funding with additional options. It's intended to wrap all COA competitive grant funding around consistent review criteria and outcome measures that relate directly to creative placemaking.


For more information on this program, check out COA's website.
Spotlight on 2012 CMSC Award Winner - Simsbury and its Town Center Code   
Illustrative Master Plan Equals Customized Code
Simsbury's customized town center code is the result of an illustrative master plan that incorporated input from the community as well as town officials and designers working collaboratively.

At this year's CMSC Awards Gala in June, the Town of Simsbury was given the Master Planning Main Street Award for their Simsbury Town Center Code. Simsbury is the first municipality in the State to have planned for a customized, form-based zoning code for its Town Center. Simsbury is also one of only two towns (Hamden is the other) to have adopted such a code. The code is the second of a three-part strategy to manage future development in the Town Center to ensure that future building opportunities will not come at the expense of valued town character - while also ensuring the process is much smoother than in the past.


The Code, utilizing the principles of New Urbanism, is a custom-designed, form-based code specifically for Simsbury's Town Center. The aim is to produce a much more walkable and sustainable community which provides increased opportunities for retail and residential activities in the Town Center.


The community was involved in the process as well. Over 600 Simsbury residents and organizations participated in a seven-day series of workshops, resulting in the creation of an "Illustrative Plan." A prescriptive, form-based code was then created to implement the Illustrative Plan. The designers and town decision makers then worked in close collaboration to get the best product for Simsbury, and the final Code was unanimously adopted at a public hearing.


None of this would have been possible without recognition on the part of stakeholders that the Center of Town is the priority for development and for quality of life. This was due in part to a very active Simsbury Main Street Partnership that educated residents and businesses on the benefits of a vibrant downtown.


Simsbury also aggressively and innovatively secured the funds necessary to keep such a large project moving forward, and part three of Simsbury's development strategy - the creation of design guidelines to accompany the new regulation - is currently being developed.


See pictures and illustrations from Simsbury's Town Center Code planning process, as well as photos of these and other CMSC Award Winners on our Facebook page. You can also read more about the winning initiatives and individuals here.

Re-Mains of the Day 

Mansfield Festival on the Green Sign
Mansfield is holding its 9th Annual Festival on the Green this Sunday, September 23rd.
Mansfield is hosting its 9th Annual Festival on the Green this Sunday, September 23 from
noon to 5:00pm in front of E.O. Smith High School. Come out and enjoy a parade, food, music and more! Click here for more details.


Waterbury recently held its 7th Annual Brass City Brew Fest. Despite some rain showers, the event was a 
big hit. Check out pictures from the Hartford Courant's coverage of the day on our Facebook page.


Simsbury Main Street Partnership recently hosted an event premiering the upcoming PBS documentary on Gifford Pinchot, a Simsbury native and active conservationist who was appointed the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Click here to watch a trailer of the documentary, Seeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot.  


This newsletter is meant to be a vehicle to communicate with our member communities, industry colleagues and generous supporters.  If you have information about events happening in your downtown, captivating pictures of your Main Street or news regarding your organization that you would like to share in our monthly newsletter, please let us know  

President's Message 

Training Leaders to Design Great Spaces


"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."

- Warren G. Bennis


Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. In incorporates many aspects of what makes a place successful and inviting, from public art, to building design, to plantings and benches. We often look to our top elected officials to articulate the vision of a community using these tools, spearheading revitalization efforts and thereby working to improve the quality of life for all. One such State program that encourages these efforts statewide is COA's Arts Catalyze Placemaking program (discussed above). Here are two more outstanding programs - one national and one local - that assist our Mayors and community leaders in the creation of great places.


Mayor's Institute on City Design (MICD). We learned this week that Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is in Charleston, SC participating in this national program. Since 1986, the Mayor's Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be chief urban designers of their cities. The MICD achieves its mission by organizing sessions where mayors engage prominent design experts to find solutions to the most critical urban design challenges facing their cities. The two and a half-day session is limited to less than twenty participants, half of which are mayors, while the other half is comprised of a resource team of outstanding city design and development professionals.


Connecticut alumni of the MICD include Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia, Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham and Governor Dannel Malloy (as Mayor of Stamford).


Another excellent Placemaking program is local to Connecticut. Here, the Yale Urban Design Workshop (YUDW) is a community design center based at the Yale School of Architecture. Founded in 1992 by former CMSC Board member Alan Plattus, the YUDW has worked with communities all across the State, providing planning and design assistance on projects ranging from comprehensive plans, economic development strategies and community visions to the design of public spaces, streetscapes and individual community facilities. CMSC has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the YUDW for several years - and many Connecticut communities have benefited from their own relationship with the program.


These and other placemaking programs help our leaders and others define what makes a great community, and then implement that vision for all to enjoy. For more information on these and other programs that create vibrant, successful communities, check out CMSC's website


Connecticut Main Street Center

c/o CL&P

PO Box 270 

Hartford, CT 06141



In This Issue
Preservation of Place Grants Available Soon 



CT Office of the Arts Launches New Placemaking Program



Spotlight on 2012 CMSC Award Winner - Simsbury and its Town Center Code



Re-Mains of the Day - Mansfield's Festival on the Green this Sunday; Waterbury's Brass City Brew Fest and Simsbury's PBS Premiere Both a Success



President's Message

Upcoming Events
SNEAPA Conference
September 20-21

Mansfield Festival on the Green
September 23
Noon - 5:00pm


Middletown Restaurant Week

October 14-18

More Info


NEDA Conference

October 28-30, 2012

More Info


DRI Workshop, Complete Streets #3

November 2, 2012
8:30am - 3:00pm
RPI - Hartford Campus
Check us out on Facebook
Shared Vision Equals Illustrative Master Plan
A shared vision equals an illustrative Master Plan in Simsbury
See pictures of Simsbury's award-winning town center code, plus pictures from Waterbury's 7th Annual Brass City Brew Fest and more on Facebook!