Did you know that Sylvania’s Main Street once was home to a toy factory? Or that there has been a bakery in the same location for over 100 years? The buildings on Main Street each have a wonderful story to tell and now thanks to a partnership with Heritage Sylvania and the Downtown Sylvania Association/Red Bird Arts District, these stories will be shared via a unique, free public exhibit.
“Covid has really forced us to be creative with how we can still fulfill our mission to share and celebrate our past”, notes Andi Erbskorn, Executive Director of Heritage Sylvania. “What is wonderful is that we have so many creative partners in our area. We began thinking of new ways to share our exhibits but in a safe manner. After the successful banner exhibit of African American icons earlier in the summer, we approached DSA to see if they would be interested in partnering with us on a history exhibit.”
The result is “Main Street: Past and Present” a series of posters that will appear in the shop windows on Main Street starting October 2 and running through October 18. Each poster will feature historical photos and a short story about the space. Guests will be asked to look at architectural features or use their imaginations to envision what was there before. Additionally, each poster will feature a QR code that can be scanned for additional information. The poster exhibit will allow for social distancing in a way that cannot happen currently in a typical museum setting. Taken together, the posters showcase the rich history of our downtown.
Rae Navarre, Main Street Manager with DSA said they were an excited partner. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we knew our primary goal was to protect the health and safety of our community as we navigated through this new normal. This windowfront exhibit allows people to get outside, walk around, learn something new, discuss history and drive traffic to our local businesses which is more important now than ever. We need to keep our downtown thriving and contribute to the livelihood of our locally-owned businesses because they are the heart and soul of our downtown.”
Ms. Erbskorn continues, “We relied on the generous research assistance of Gayleen Gindy for this. We really feel this is such a unique way to bring our history to the public.”
Do you want to learn more about the buildings we featured? Click here!