Jul 5, 2023 | News


HARRISBURG, PA.Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) recently presented fourteen awards during the organization’s annual statewide Townie Awards gala. The Townie Awards are a festive and venerable tradition designed to recognize the commonwealth’s core communities and individuals for creation and implementation of projects, programs and events that exemplify the goals of PDC’s community revitalization mission. Eligible communities consist of Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s nearly 200 member organizations, including Main Street and Elm Street programs, making the Townies a competitive award process each year.

Main Street Hanover is pleased to announce that we received the received the Physical Improvements & Design: Public Space Improvements Townie Award for our Heart of Hanover Trails.  Learn more about Hanover’s history through an interactive and informative walking tour through the downtown. The Trails feature Civil War history, human interest stories, and little-known details about life in Hanover.

Main Street Hanover secured tourism dollars from Explore York to renew the historic marker program in the downtown districtIn planning for this project, with dedicated volunteers Matthew Jackson, local writer and historian, and Brandon Wingert, with L2 Brands, we were able to not only install 16 locally created and branded historic markers, and four branded Civil War Trails markers, but also provide an updated website and interactive walking tour map and brochure to create a connection with the organization’s digital footprint and the tourism assets in downtown Hanover. 

Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s executive director, Julie Fitzpatrick, said “Each year we look forward to the Townie
Awards presentation for its ability to excite and inspire our members to continue their community revitalization efforts. Our
member communities work tirelessly to improve their cities and towns, and we love having the opportunity to applaud them for
their efforts.”

The Townie Awards are a part of PDC’s annual statewide conference, which is held in a different commonwealth
community each year in order to highlight the respective city or town’s accomplishments in community and neighborhood
revitalization. This year’s conference, Making Room: Housing for a Vibrant Community, held in downtown Scranton, was attended by close to 300 individuals and included borough and municipal officials, experts in community planning and landscape architecture, and dozens of Main Street and Elm Street managers.

In addition to the many conference sessions scheduled and the awards dinner, attendees of the conference took advantage of mobile workshops highlighting the not only the city’s various redevelopment projects, history of Scranton, murals, and urban landscaping but also those of neighboring communities to include Pittston, Wilkes-Barre, Honesdale and Hawley. Dan Parolek, founding principal of Opticos Design and expert on the term Missing Middle Housing delivered the opening keynote sharing his expertise of the now international Missing Middle Housing movement and how to incorporate this type of housing in communities across the country and in our neighborhoods here in the Commonwealth. Jason Roberts, founding director of Better Block, presented an inspirational breakfast keynote about his international movement to transform blighted blocks with vacant properties by converting them into temporary, walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, café seating and landscaping.

Founded in 1987, the mission of Pennsylvania Downtown Center is to advance the sense of place, quality of life and
economic vitality of Pennsylvania’s downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas.

Click HERE for the Heart of Hanover Trails interactive online page and map.

Photos by: Miranda Pace

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