Photo by Carla Waters

Community members in Attica have been working on preservation and other projects in the city.

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While Attica was not selected for the PreservINg Main Street pilot program through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Humanities, there is still a lot of work going on.

Members of the Attica Main Street organization worked with others to get the community to the final five communities in the running for the grant. While the City of Kendallville and the Town of Brookville were announced Sept. 10 as the pilot program recipients, Attica still has a lot to be proud of and continue work on. Attica Main Street representatives appreciate the support received for the grant process and the continued support for work that has been done and work that is yet to come as they fulfill the town’s slogan “Attica is the Place to Be”.

Lisa Craft wrote on social media and approved having her message printed here. She praised the community and the many people who have worked on the projects in Attica.

“I woke up this morning with well wishes and messages of prayers for our city. But that quickly led to the disappointing news that the state has selected two other cities to receive $2 million each to transform their downtowns,” she said. “First, congratulations to Kendallville and Brookville on being chosen for the pilot program of Preserving Main Street. Great job and

best wishes.

“Second, thanks so much to each of you for your positive comments, your encouragement, your prayers. I kept going because of you….the ones who stopped me at a Pizza Hut, or in the store, or in the street, or in Facebook, and asked me to keep posting, and keep trying to protect and enhance our downtown. I was fueled by my mother’s last wishes but the fire was kept alive by each of you.

“I want to individually thank Brent Bauerband, who spent days writing up a grant proposal to turn one or two buildings of the 200 block into loft housing and retail. His proposal included facts and data about the community and hope to see a transformation to truly make Attica a better place to be. His heart kept me going as I put all those signs out and about town.

“Thank you also to Robie Criswell and Andrew Hall, for hanging up the banners. To Chris Erwin for his hurried response to our signage needs. To Dusty Marlatt who played On the Banks of the Wabash for the judges. To Lexxi Haddock, for her undying spirit and love of community. To Emily Junius Harrison for rallying the community together, for a positive approach that included 30 people in a three day workshop to learn community building and to hear a message about preserving historic downtowns. To Wade Harrison III and Doug Cripe, Zoe Jordan and Skyler Jordan for writing letters of support to the judges that led to our Top 5 designation. To Patricia Hargan for writing the historic preservation ordinance for the city council to help protect downtown buildings. To Lela and Julie Bauerband and Carolyn Carlson for their Attica poster that is still downtown to see. To each of you who prayed, and commented and tried along with those of trying to win the judge’s hearts.

“Ocra has said they will work with our city officials, and so now for the challenge. And, will you help me?

“My challenge is to our mayor and city council and economic developer to take another look and to open up communication. Show us your plans for the 200 block now, and work with the state to try and preserve at least a building or two. Give loft housing a chance. Look for retail that embraces our community and its heritage. Look at options and show us more to help support our local businesses, especially the small businesses that make communities thrive. Protect our downtown and its buildings and let demolition stop now so we can build a future together.

Let’s keep this rolling….and keep it positive!”

Lexxi Haddock also said that there is a lot to be proud of in Attica and more work is in the planning stages.

The group had worked with city and school officials as well as other in the community on a community development course at which about 30 people have been in attendance to work on some of the plans.

Haddock said that recently she and Tetia Lee from the Tippecanoe Arts Federation made their way around the community looking at buildings and selecting about 12 where murals could be placed in the future.

She mentioned the preservation ordinances that the city has been working on and the importance how those will help the community preserve its history.

Sept. 25 there are plans for the Spirits in the Park event which will be from 5-10 p.m. that night at McDonald Park. A beer garden, food and live music from The Park Avenue Band will be featured.

The group is also working on finding an executive director for the organization, something that was required for the grant process and was something they were going to do anyway. The are currently taking applications for that role.

Haddock said representatives from OCRA will reach out to group to talk specifically about Attica’s application and what could be enhanced for the next round, which will be in 2023.

The group is always looking for people who want to be involved, she said, and those who wish to do so can contact one of the members. “Everybody is welcome,” she said.

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