Revitalization experts to speak in Wabash April 25, 27

National experts offer tips for reviving urban areas and small town downtowns.

The state historic preservation conference comes to Wabash April 25-28, and brings keynoters who are experts in downtown revitalization. Chuck Marohn of Minnesota-based Strong Towns speaks twice on Thursday, April 27 and Cameron Potts from Deluxe Corporation addresses the conference at a dinner plenary session on April 26.

Mayor Scott Long asked Marohn to speak at a special luncheon for elected officials and municipal employees engaged in reviving urban areas and small town downtowns. Marohn will use his hometown of Brainerd, MN (population 13,400) to show that traditionally-developed buildings in historic downtowns have a greater financial value per acre than new stand-alone stores on the edge of town.

According to Marohn, landmark buildings yield more in property taxes and provide more flexible opportunities for redevelopment when the use changes. For example, a historic department store may be converted to housing, retail, restaurant, or offices, while a franchise restaurant structure on the edge of town may become a used car lot, but not much more.

Marohn’s plenary talk on Thursday for the full conference focuses on ways to improve neighborhoods, including small, incremental infrastructure improvements and ways for local government to overcome lack of control of substandard properties to reverse blight.

Cameron Potts, also from Minnesota will speak at dinner on Wednesday, April 26 about the Deluxe Corporation’s Small Business Revolution program. In 2016, Wabash won the $500,000 top prize in the Deluxe’s Small Business Revolution contest, created to shine a spotlight on the vital impact that small businesses have on economies, communities and local quality of life.

To arrange phone interviews in advance:

To speak with Chuck Marohn, contact Rachel Quednau at Strong Towns,, 844-218-1681.

Contact Cameron Potts at 651-233-7735 or

Media contact: Suzanne Stanis, Indiana Landmarks Director of Heritage Education, 317-639-4534 / 800-450-4534,


Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. Learn more.

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