LYNCHBURG — Nelson County’s efforts to revitalize Lovingston have received national attention as the National Main Street Center recently named the county seat a member of its Main Street America program.
According to a news release from the Nelson County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, “Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of nationally recognized Main Street America affiliate programs in recognition of their commitment to generating positive change in their downtowns and commercial districts using the Main Street Approach, a framework for comprehensive revitalization and preservation-based economic development.”
Lovingston is one of 288 Main Street America affiliate programs being recognized by the National Main Street Center in 2019.
Lovingston is home to multiple businesses, organizations and attractions, including Home Remedies Mercantile and Exchange, Wood Ridge Farm Brewery, the Lovingston Café, the Nelson County Department of Elections, law firms and the county courthouse.
In more recent years, the county has been working to revitalize the area.
Earlier this year, Lovingston was awarded a grant to starting planning revitalization to foster more businesses and attract more tourists.
In another effort to attract tourists and provide more for residents, another craft beverage trail, Nelson 29, was created. The Vietnam War and Foreign Conflicts Museum is proposed to be based in Lovingston as another way to bring more business and tourism to the area. The group moving the museum from Greene County to Nelson County is still in search of a location.
Michael Crabill, who has lived in Lovingston for over 30 years, said recently that he has noticed new restaurants and younger families moving into the area.
“A lot of people have been talking about the need to inject a little bit of fresh, young people into the mix here, and I think that’s slowly happening. I hope they can preserve the old buildings here while getting some appropriate commercial development,” Crabill said.
In the release from the tourism department, county Supervisor Jesse Rutherford said, “Lovingston is the county seat and is poised for revitalization. We are working with property and business owners, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the regional Planning District Commission on an economic restructuring plan. Already an historic district, the Affiliate Main Street designation is another important tool in our toolbox for a successful revitalization effort.”
The nonprofit National Main Street Center was founded in 1980 and is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It launched a new Main Street America program in 2015.
According to the center’s website, the program was launched “to reinvigorate our collective look, feel and strategy to position Main Street as a leader locally, regionally and nationally.”