A Talk with Marla Mills about "Vote Your Main Street" Contest

Oct 26, 2017

Downtown Cape Girardeau is in the running to receive grant money to do work at Ivers Square. Dan Woods talks with Marla Mills, Executive Director of Old Town Cape, about the grant opportunity.

As a participant in the Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign, Old Town Cape, Inc. is encouraging the public to visit VoteYourMainStreet.org/capegirardeau to help secure funding to preserve Ivers Square, the site many know as Common Pleas Courthouse Park. Old Town Cape, Inc. has the opportunity through Partners in Preservation to acquire up to $150,000 in private grant funding to revitalize this historic public property.

On June 5th, 2017 the Cape Girardeau City Council officially named the park beside Common Pleas Courthouse ‘Ivers Square,” in honor of James Ivers and the Ivers family. James Ivers, a former slave, received his freedom and went on to enlist in the Union Army on June 18, 1863. The plan for the property includes signage to denote the park as Ivers Square, but also includes major improvements to the gazebo, fountain, landscaping, and seating.

Alluded to above, funding for Partners in Preservation is determined by a voting campaign. 25 communities have been invited to participate in the program and only the top 10 vote-collecting communities will receive the full funding of up to $150,000. Every individual can vote up to 5 times a day, so Old Town Cape, Inc. is relying on the public to visit VoteYourMainStreet.org/CapeGirardeau to propel Cape Girardeau into the top 10. The voting campaign will run from September 25th-October 31st.Partners in Preservation is a community-based partnership, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, to raise awareness of the importance of preserving historic places and their role in sustaining local communities.

Partners in Preservation: Main Streets will award $2 million in grant funding from American Express to Main Street districts in need of preservation support across America. The public will determine which sites will receive funding by voting for their favorite main streets through October 31 at VoteYourMainStreet.org, the online voting portal hosted by National Geographic Travel.