Written by Ric Cochrane, Associate Director of Preservation Green Lab
Lewiston has a long history of a strong local economy, starting with its location on deep-water accessible Snake and Clearwater rivers, allowing its locals to ship timber, grain, and other products to the Pacific Ocean.
I’m from Lewiston, Idaho, the aluminum jet boat capital of the world, entrance to Hell’s Canyon, and home of the Potlatch lumber mill. Twenty years ago, when my mom ran a shop on Lewiston’s Main Street, it was the heart of town -- until Wal-Mart, Costco, and other national franchises moved in and Downtown Lewiston started a long struggle to survive.
Today, thanks to the Beautiful Downtown Lewiston initiative, Main Street is once again alive and on its way to becoming the next designated Main Street within the National Main Street Center network.
I think Downtown Lewiston is going to long outlive the chain stores and franchises. Why? Because the downtown movement is led by people who care about each other and take a long view of prosperity. If I sound like some small-town rube or an idealist, that’s OK. I have evidence to indicate that Main Streets are our future.... Read More →
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.