The heart of Albion, the historic downtown district is filled architectural charm and iconic landmarks. To preserve and enhance this unique character, the Albion Downtown Development Authority (DDA) recently celebrated the successful completion of the 2023 Façade Grant projects. The program aimed to revitalize and maintain the city’s historic downtown by providing grants to deserving recipients for improvements to building façades, the face of buildings, and it did just that.
Three establishments, Kids ‘N’ Stuff, Palmer House, and Risner-Wade Properties, were the proud recipients of this year’s grants. Each project made impactful improvements to the façades of their buildings breathing a new life into the vibrant atmosphere that attracts visitors, supports local businesses, and reinforces community pride.
Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum
Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum received a grant of $5,000 to embark on a updating their entry way. With this funding, they successfully replaced their front entrance doors and windows with energy-efficient models. Not only did this ensure a more environmentally friendly approach, but it also maintained a welcoming and secure atmosphere for young visitors and families. Kids ‘N’ Stuff is an important asset to the Albion community through the amazing opportunities for children to come and play. The museum draws in tourists from around the state, bringing in more community support.
Palmer House Inn Bed & Breakfast
The iconic landmark, the Palmer House Inn, was award a $4,386 grant. The funds were used to address crucial repairs, including restoring the stone on the front porch and replacing deteriorating porch columns. These efforts safeguarded the integrity and safety of this prominent building, preserving its charm for generations to come. As discussed in the Palmer House proposal, these improvements have helped preserve the building for countless years to come for more visitors to enjoy. The Palmer House has been a bed and breakfast in the Albion since the late 1990s impacting the hospitality accommodations available in the community.
Risner-Wade Properties, housing the Secretary of State’s office, was another deserving recipient of the 2023 Façade Grant, receiving $5,000. Their restoration project involved removing outdated aluminum façade coverings, meticulously repairing brickwork, and replacing the front entry door and windows. These efforts successfully gave the building a much-needed face lift impacting the perception of the building and business for the hundreds of visitors that the Secretary of State brings in weekly.
The successful completion of the façade grants projects showcases the dedication of local businesses and organizations to preserving the character of Albion’s downtown. Beyond the aesthetics, these projects have strengthened the overall appeal of the city’s downtown district, contributing significantly to its economic growth and sustainability.
As the Albion DDA continues to foster a thriving community, preserving the city’s heritage and character remain at the forefront of their efforts. For those interested in taking part in the next round of façade grants, the 2024 applications are now available online, with a deadline set for December 2023. Head over to the Downtown Development Authority’s Boards and Commissions page on the City of Albion’s website to find out more and apply.