News & Updates

GROW Jamestown: Follow the Signs

PHOTO_Grow Jamestown Front Garden Program

Small garden signs will be popping up across Jamestown this month. You’ll see them nestled in flower beds and planter boxes from Hotchkiss Street to Hallock Street and from West Virginia Boulevard to West 18th Street.

The signs will be distributed as part of the GROW Jamestown Front Garden Recognition Program, now in its fourth year. Over 60 volunteers will be working with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation through the end of July to survey every city street and deliver signs to gardens that are colorful, well-tended, and set a high standard for their corner of Jamestown. Continue reading

Complete Streets Presentation Set for Monday


4th Street Jamestown, NY

The City of Jamestown will be hosting a Complete Streets Policy Implementation presentation on Monday July 7th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Lillian V. Ney Renaissance Center located at 119 West Third Street. Complete Streets are road systems that provide safe, convenient access for all users including, motorists, bicyclists, public transportation operators and users, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. National experts John LaPlante and Kristin Bennett from the National Complete Streets Coalition will lead this presentation and will help determine how the City of Jamestown can better balance transportation projects to ensure streets are safe and inviting for everyone using the right-of-way.

This presentation sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is the first in New York State and will be open to the public. The City of Jamestown encourages your attendance in identifying how to more effectively complete the streets in Jamestown.

Appetite Grows for Food Downtown

Farmers Market 1


One of the hallmarks of successful downtowns is that they are destinations for great food and have lots of fun places to eat. Think of any downtown that you enjoy visiting and there’s a good chance that a restaurant, public market, or street-side food vendor plays a prominent role in making it a favorite place.

Several projects in downtown Jamestown, including events, business expansions, and recent openings all signal that downtown Jamestown is moving up in the ranks as a regional food destination. Continue reading

Great Streets: A Wish List for Jamestown

Brick street1

Great streets feel good.

Walk or drive down the stretch of Third Street between Hallock and Hall in Jamestown now that the oak trees are in full leaf and try not to be inspired. It’s hard. The soaring trees, the interesting buildings, and the view of downtown on the other side of the bridge all combine to make a trip along Third a real treat.

That beautiful street is also a safer place this summer after a 2013 repaving project that included striping to clearly mark travel lanes and parking lanes. What had been an ambiguous and awkward street for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians is now more calm and comfortable. Continue reading

Seven Groups Chosen as 2014′s Neighborhood Renaissance Blocks

RBC Map_2014 Update


Landscaping, porch repairs, painting, sidewalk replacement and many other projects will soon be underway in Jamestown’s neighborhoods as part of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s fourth annual Renaissance Block Challenge.

Seven clusters of neighbors are participating in the program this year, with properties located on Dearborn St., Durant Ave., Ellis Ave., Lakeview Ave., Newton Ave., W. 18th St., and in the Forest Heights neighborhood. The seven groups, which include 97 property owners and a mixture of owner-occupants and landlords, applied to the program earlier this year and were selected from among 12 competing groups. Continue reading

‘Third Thursday’ Concerts Resume at Winter Garden Plaza


The “Third Thursday” summer concert series will continue for a third straight year at Winter Garden Plaza in downtown Jamestown, starting this week.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and the Active Artists Alliance have announced that the popular series will resume on May 15 with free performances by local bands Smackdab and Little Sea Bird. Concerts will continue on the third Thursday of each month through September. Music begins at 7 pm at the plaza, located on North Main Street between Third and Fourth Streets.

“The community has supported this event, rain or shine, from the beginning, and the JRC is proud to support the event for another year” says Gregory Lindquist, Executive Director of the JRC. “Having activity in downtown Jamestown’s public spaces is an important part of our mission to cultivate a vibrant and active downtown.”

Just over five years ago, the JRC oversaw the demolition of the long-vacant Winter Garden Theater and the installation of the small urban park that has become a gathering space for a variety of community events including the Great Jamestown Chalk Walk and the Great Jamestown Sauce Off.

“It’s great to be able to host free events for the community at Winter Garden Plaza,” says Active Artists Alliance President and event organizer Bill Thomas. “So many different people come down to our events here. We have teenagers and retirees along with families who bring their young kids to enjoy the nice summer weather and see great music from Jamestown and the region.” The audience is as eclectic as the music that entertains them each month with bands playing funk, jazz, reggae, rock, and bluegrass.

Funding for the Third Thursday concert series is coming this year from a newly launched JRC program, the Downtown and Riverfront Event Competition. The program accepts event proposals on a rolling basis “that draw visitors and local residents to enjoy community assets, patronize local businesses, and add vitality to public spaces” according to the program’s guidelines. More information about the program and how to apply can be found here on our Web site.

Get Hands-on with Citywide Spruce-up


Hands On1

Click here to register for Hands-On Jamestown

It’s a vicious cycle that begins small. Litter begets litter. Then graffiti appears. And before long, apathy and despair are knocking at the door.

But the reverse cycle also starts out small. A sidewalk is swept. A flower is planted. And pretty soon, a sense of pride and community takes root.

The renaissance underway in many parts of Jamestown today is spurred, more than anything else, by this second cycle. Simple acts of improvement, with broad community participation, are changing mindsets and making waves. Continue reading

Could Co-ops Strengthen Local Economy?


The recent decision by Con Agra to shut down its Carriage House plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia, resulting in the loss of over 400 local jobs, reveals once again how decisions made in distant places can have a significant impact on the local economy. But what can be done to bring decision-making, or at least more of it, closer to home? How can workers have more of a say in the direction and future of local enterprises, with an eye towards generating wealth that stays and circulates in their own community?

Continue reading

Reaping Dividends from Historic Assets


Over one million buildings, sites and objects in the United States are on the National Register of Historic Places, the Department of the Interior’s official inventory of historic resources. Among these, over 90 percent are located in one of 13,000 federally-recognized historic districts, including the downtown areas of Fredonia, Westfield, and Warren. Over 600 buildings, alone, are included in the Chautauqua Institution Historic District.

How many does Jamestown have? Not many. Only six buildings in the city are on the National Register. And, for now, the city has no federally-recognized historic districts. Continue reading