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Cottage Street Cultural District Opens in Easthampton

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Easthampton was once a thriving industrial community home to J.P. Stevens, National Felt, and Stanley Home Products.

However, when those companies either headed south or closed in the late 1960′s, it had a huge impact on the businesses, along Main, Union, and Cottage Streets.

Many of the stores closed and the town suffered, but Easthampton is making a comeback and Cottage Street is proof.

It’s now a cultural district, one of only 16 streets in the state.

Friday afternoon, state Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker joined Easthampton Mayor Michael Tautznik to cut the ribbon for the new district and make it official.

The cultural district designation is given to streets that are compact, walkable areas, lined with galleries, shops, and nightlife.

The initiative for cultural districts began as part of an economic stimulus bill passed in 2010 by the legislature, and are designed to help cities and towns encourage business growth, attract culture and arts, reuse historic buildings and enhance property values.