Community leaders initiated Harrodsburg First in 1986 as a division of the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Landmark Association, Inc., Harrodsburg First was established to implement and administer a comprehensive downtown revitalization program under the National Main Street Program’s philosophy and approach. Since Harrodsburg’s selection as a State Main Street Town through the Kentucky Heritage Council in 1988, positive and consistent steps have been taken to encourage this revitalization and economic restructuring within the context of historic preservation.
Harrodsburg First’s mission states that a healthy downtown is vital for an entire community’s economic well being. A healthy downtown environment shows pride in the entire community while a declining downtown gives the impression of a community without vitality. Harrodsburg First believes that our heritage and identity in downtown is the historic, social, cultural and political core of our community. Harrodsburg has local lending institutions, a post office, library, multiple merchants and service agencies, city and county government offices all within walking distance of Main Street which creates a wonderful and diverse gathering place for all residents.
In the mid 1980’s the Harrodsburg/Mercer County Landmark Association commissioned a study to better understand business and consumer needs within the downtown district. This study underlined the importance of downtown revitalization and led the Landmark Association to pursue establishment of a Main Street Program through the Kentucky Heritage Council. Harrodsburg First, a non-profit agency, was established in 1988 to serve the revitalization and economic needs of downtown. City and county governments, local lending institutions, industry, small business, community organizations and private citizens made a commitment to bring life back to downtown Harrodsburg.
Since Harrodsburg’s inclusion in the Main Street Program, the community has been awarded various grants to help renovate the design of Main Street as well as promote economic vitality. In the years since its inception the Main Street program has been responsible for placement of over 130 historic light poles which exactly resemble the street lighting of Harrodsburg circa 1900. Overhead wiring has been removed, a 45 space parking lot created and a community park built. A 14’ x 32’ waterfall, reflecting the characteristic of the nearby Kentucky Palisades, is the centerpiece of the park and each year many community events are hosted in this space.
Since 1998 Harrodsburg has been designated a Kentucky Renaissance on Main City by the Kentucky Heritage Council. The Renaissance program enables Harrodsburg to draw from numerous resources including state agencies such as the Kentucky Housing Corporation, Kentucky League of Cities, and the Kentucky Heritage Council. Harrodsburg has been awarded substantial monies for improvements to the Renaissance district through the Renaissance on Main program.
Each year Harrodsburg First sponsors a number of events to promote downtown and bring awareness to preservation issues which influence this area as well as increase revenue and shopping. All of our events are free and open to the public.
|Summer Entertainment Concert Series
||Every Saturday night in June, July, and August|
|Annual Motorcycle Meet
|Night of the Great Pumpkin
Harrodsburg First recently completed the rehabilitation of a 7,000 square foot historic building, Diamond Point. Diamond Point, located at 488 Price Avenue, now serves as the Welcome Center for Harrodsburg and Mercer County. The Harrodsburg/Mercer County Tourist Commission and Harrodsburg First have relocated their offices to this building.
Preservation of historic properties has always been an objective and goal of our community. Diamond Point is an example of Lafever architecture and is one of only seven such structures found in the state.