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Middletown Main Street, Delaware: Program modeled on Main Street initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

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Middletown Main Street Inc. is a nonprofit organization that works primarily through volunteers to revitalize the downtown commercial district while preserving the historic character of the town, which was incorporated in 1861. The organization is part of Downtown Delaware, a program modeled on the Main Street initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“A town’s downtown is what makes it special, and it’s worth preserving,” says Tracy Skrobot, program manager of Middletown Main Street.

“We’ve had a number of successes since we began in 2005. This year, for example, marks the first year since the founding of Middletown Main Street that we have filled up all the suitable vacancies downtown.

“Although we focus on businesses as the source of the town’s economic strength, we have also helped homeowners in the commercial district with residential renewal. I am especially proud of how the volunteers pitched in a few years ago to renew a dilapidated historic home on Main Street.”

Middletown’s downtown businesses are concentrated along three-blocks on West Main Street, with a few commercial properties on North and South Broad streets. They include restaurants, shops, salons and other businesses. Among the prized buildings are those at Four Corners, where Main and Broad streets intersect; Delaware Trust; the turreted, red-brick Schagrin Building; the Cochran Building and adjacent Witherspoon Inn, the town’s oldest building and now the site of Sully’s Irish Pub; and the Exchange Building, where the new Dogtown restaurant is located.

The Middletown Show House benefits Main Street’s grant program.

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