Foley Main Street awarded for projects

Executive Editor
Posted 9/5/23

Downtown Foley Main Street was recently recognized for its work at the state level. Main Street Alabama held its 10th-annual Awards of Excellence Banquet at Stovehouse in Huntsville on Aug. 17 to …

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Foley Main Street awarded for projects


Downtown Foley Main Street was recently recognized for its work at the state level.

Main Street Alabama held its 10th-annual Awards of Excellence Banquet at Stovehouse in Huntsville on Aug. 17 to celebrate the successes of local programs. Main Street Alabama President and State Coordinator Mary Helmer Wirth and Assistant State Coordinator Trisha Black recognized projects and individuals who made significant contributions to their communities.

The Awards of Excellence recognized winners in 17 categories, with Foley Main Street coming home with three: for promotion; planning and public space; and historic preservation. "Foley Main Street, celebrating their fifth year, has exceeded the city's expectations from when we began the process of becoming a Main Street District," Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich said. "We came away with state awards recognizing the outstanding work happening in downtown Foley. Our progress shows what we can achieve when we partner with private businesses and organizations to accomplish goals."

Economic impact numbers reported monthly by Foley Main Street of private property owner investment, property bought by private investors and the City of Foley investment in downtown improvements was used in the calculation of this recognition. Foley is the only city in Baldwin County to be recognized as a Designated Program by Main Street Alabama.

Pine Street Pocket Park

The district's Award of Excellence for Planning and Public Space was for the Pine Street Pocket Park, which began as a dream of the City of Foley Beautification Committee to create a park where the old Foley Methodist Church used to be located on the corner of Pine Street and Laurel Avenue.

In partnership with Baldwin County Board of Education, which leased the land to the city, the city created an outdoor auditorium to be used by the schools and for the community to enjoy. Foley Main Street received a $20,000 AARP community grant for the outdoor musical instruments located at the back of the handicapped accessible stage.

What started out as a minor project blossomed into the city committing and spending over $600,000 for the park.

Historic preservation

Hollis Interiors was awarded the Award of Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation, which recognizes outstanding historic rehabilitation projects that continue the economic use of a historic building. The project must be located in the Main Street District and includes exterior work but could be both exterior and interior.

The Hollis building was constructed by the George C. Randolph company for the Orange Crush Bottling Company in 1922. The Hollises decided to move forward preserving and revitalizing their building, which they have owned since 1952.

The windows were uncovered when the signs were taken down. The Hollises fixed the windows and left them exposed. The project also consisted of removal of signs and making repairs to exposed windows, caulk and paint. They repointed and repaired mortar, painted brick and mortar and replaced the front doors. They also purchased and installed new signs and awnings.

Cat Alley

Foley Main Street district was also awarded the Award of Excellence for Promotion with their CATalyst event.

The CATalyst event kicked off Cat Alley, a Foley Main Street public art initiative held in the heart of downtown Foley, featuring artist ARCY painting the first mural with a cat hidden in it, tunes and delicious lunch options under cozy tents and a bar for those craving a drink set the stage.

They had 1,500 entries in the Cat Alley elementary school art contest, and 3,000 sets of flyers and color sheets went out to parents and teachers, which enhanced the promotion of Catalyst. In all, 1,500-plus attended the event.

Foley Main Street also partnered with Safe Harbor Coalition to promote their "Trap, Neuter and Release" program for South Baldwin County.

Main Street Hero

Local Main Street programs select a Main Street Hero that honors an individual, business or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to their program and was recognized at the Toast to Heroes Reception sponsored by Regions Bank prior to the banquet.

Foley Art Center was awarded the Foley Main Street Hero Award.

Since 1966, The Foley Art Center has served the Gulf Coast area with cultural enrichment programs in local schools, grants to art teachers at area schools for ages 4-18 and art classes for children and adults. From the dreams of 15 local citizens, it has become a vital force in the cultural development of Baldwin County.

Foley Art Center was a sponsor for the Foley Main Street CATalyst event, sponsoring the art contest and the Downtown Foley 28-foot, seven-panel community mural.