Throwback Thursday – The Downtown Redevelopment Authority

The holiday spirit is in the air and this week we’re taking a road trip down memory lane. The city of Bowling Green’s heart beats right here in downtown. The Downtown Redevelopment Authority was established nearly 40 years ago to keep that spirit alive.

Around the 1970s, Scottsville Road started to develop around I-65. The once-thriving businesses around Fountain Square and Main Street were turning up empty or moving locations. A group of merchants put together the Downtown Redevelopment Authority to revitalize and bring back new business.

In the early 1980s, this group raised over $60 thousand to revamp Fountain Square Park. They realized the potential for growth and preservation all the way from the top of the hill at Western Kentucky University to the Barren River at 31-W Bypass.

The District has played a huge role in downtown development ever since. It established Circus Square Park and participated in the Kentucky Renaissance on Main Program. The DRA raised $15 million in investments to downtown Bowling Green. The monies were used for streetscaping, creating the Heritage Walk, façade improvements and much more.

The DRA held the first Concert in the Park music series in 1979. The huge summertime event has been a staple in downtown Bowling Green culture, bringing more than 20,000 people through the city’s heart. The DRA continues to breathe life into downtown, promoting community growth through partnerships and unity.

One of The District’s biggest events is coming up this weekend. Downtown Lights Up is Friday night. DRA members are hosting more than 15 fun holiday events and activities from Fountain Square to The SKyPAC.