Our Sapulpa Main Street is one of thirty Oklahoma Main Street non-profit organizations that believe, “The heart of any community is its Main Street – the historic fabric that celebrates a town’s past while living in the present. Without a vibrant core, the entire community suffers.” Sapulpa Main Street started in 1990 and is part of National Main Street.
The office sits at 15 North Water Street in downtown Sapulpa and is a registered Historic Building. The inside has exposed heat and air ducts with a beautiful tin ceiling giving it character.
Main Street is probably most well-known for the events it hosts, such as the “Jingle Bell Sweepstakes” in December, the summer “Farmer’s Market” held in the Courthouse parking lot, “Route 66 Blowout,” “Rock the Route” concerts and more. Come to find out, there is a lot more that goes on.
Sapulpa Main Street operates on a four-point system which includes organization, promotion, design, and economic vitality. Each of these systems has its own committee and the Main Street Board Members are on one of these teams. They strive to revitalize downtown while always keeping the historic integrity of the buildings. For instance, the Design Committee helps businesses with the Façade Grant, which is a one-time opportunity to aid businesses with paint, window repair, masonry work, and more.
Cindy Lawrence has been involved with Sapulpa Main Street for over thirty years and has been the Director for the past six. Her grandfather ventured to Sapulpa in 1907 and had two businesses in downtown. She was taught to “be proud of where you came from” and believes “downtown is the heart of a community. I want it to be the best it can be for the next generations.”
The tornado that ripped through downtown in May of 2019 damaged downtown buildings. One building imploded. Cindy arrived the next morning, with volunteers, to help clean up the debris. She said, “Someone had to clean it up.” She organized a meeting with architects and engineers to help fifty business owners through the process of recovery.
Cindy and the President of Main Street, County Commissioner Leon Warner, are excited about the progress they are seeing, such as the purchase and renovation of buildings on Hobson Street. Their hearts are to get people to come back to downtown, support current business owners and attract new ones. When asked about the recent GO bonds that were passed, Commissioner Warner said, “We are excited to share our ideas for downtown. Hopefully, we’ll be a part of that process.”
Besides the Board Members, Sapulpa Main Street has roughly fifty volunteers who have logged approximately 37,000 hours of volunteer time. No doubt, revitalizing our historic downtown is a group effort. Commissioner Warner said, “We are all working together, bringing different pieces, for the good.”
There’s a bright future for our historic downtown Sapulpa. Remember to shop small and local and attend the fun events. “[Our] goal is to preserve the past, promote the present, and protect our future.”