Sanford's Historic Downtown
The downtown’s distinctive character is its key advantage in competing in a retail world dominated by big-box stores. Civic and business leaders are mounting an ambitious effort to leverage downtown’s “quality of place” to make it an appealing destination for visitors and businesses alike
It’s called the National Main Street Program, a grassroots economic development program being followed in more than 2,000 communities across the country.
The program is being spearheaded by Sanford Downtown Legacy, a non-profit organization that marries community volunteerism with professional management to bring the bustle back to downtown. Sanford Downtown Legacy has four areas of focus, corresponding to the four ingredients of a successful downtown:
Design is concerned with improving the overall attractiveness of downtown – flower plantings, window displays, benches and street trees, cleanliness of sidewalks, historic architecture and signage.
Promotions is concerned with improving foot traffic every way possible - festivals, sidewalk sales, art shows, concerts, and parades
Economic restructuring is concerned with strengthening existing businesses and recruiting the right mix of new businesses to give the downtown the best chance of long-term success.
Organization is concerned with overall coordination and organizational effectiveness – fundraising, volunteer recruitment and recognition, board development, public relations, Website and newsletter development.
What to see in downtown Sanford:
Park that car of yours and discover the sights, sounds and tastes of downtown Sanford.
For shoppers there’s a hardware store, bookstore, shoe store, craft stores, jewelry store, florist, frame shop, Asian market, and clothing from formal wear to thrift items. Diners have a choice of 11 restaurants, coffee shops and sandwich shops.
For the culturally curious there’s Sanford Springvale Art Association gallery, Goodall Library, Trafton Senior Center, Goodall Mansion, and an Historic Walk linking parks and historic sites. Ambiance seekers should stroll the pleasant tree-lined esplanade along Number One Pond and visit cozy Goodall Park, where Babe Ruth hit his last homerun as a member of the barnstorming Red Sox before being traded to the New York Yankees. There’s also the Town Club, an old fashioned gentleman’s club perched atop the old Sanford Trust building.