If the streets could talk what stories would they tell? Back in the early 1900s, you might see a newspaper headline like, “Durant’s William J. Bryan loses Presidential Election to Theodore Roosevelt”, or an advertisement in the newspaper urging you to buy a new Cleveland car at Walker Company on West Main Street for only $1385, their phone number was OSAGE 8640. Durant is filled with culture and history, and it all started in Downtown Durant. Why is the preservation of our downtown history so important? It’s important because it’s our heart!
Although it is still being proved scientifically, evidence has suggested that the heart has a brain, and it actually forms memories and attaches feelings to them. In some cases, heart transplant patients have said they have taken on the behaviors of their donors and have memory of their feelings and thoughts.
Downtown Durant is much like the human heart from this stand point. It is the heart of Durant! While kept in its pure state, and not replaced with modern cookie cutter architecture, the memories of where we came from will live on. Our culture and heritage will never fade.
Sure we could tear down and rebuild with new buildings that are modern and conventionally designed. We could transplant a piece of the big city right in our heart. If we do that though we might wake up one day and realize we can’t remember where we came from, or how we got where we are. If we don’t have anything to reflect back on that helps us remember the past, how can we be thankful for the present? Or more importantly, make sure we don’t repeat any mishaps from the past.
Today, our sense of identity comes from our past and gives us a feeling of being a part of something. It’s important to take pride in who you are now and what made you that. Our culture, our history, and all we have gone through as a whole plays a huge role in where we are, as well as where we are headed.
Everyone is wrapped up in “today” and what lies ahead. Remember, our past caused our present, just as what we do now shapes our future. History will hold the cause of “change”, and studying it helps us grasp and comprehend the factors that caused it.
The Durant Main Street Program strives to not only preserve the historical aspects of downtown Durant, but help the economic structure of downtown as well. These two are so closely intertwined. We understand that historical preservation has emerged as having an economic impact on the community. People are drawn to a cities unique character created by historical backdrops, and streetscapes. In other words, the more historical preservation, the more people are drawn to the downtown, and the more people downtown the more traffic flow for our businesses.
Just like a human heart, where every artery and valve are dependent upon each other and flow together as one, the “heart” of Durant must flow together. They say one of the greatest gifts you can give is your heart. We hope you accept the gift of Downtown Durant, and always keep the “heart” of Durant beating strong.
For any questions regarding the Durant Main Street Program or upcoming events please find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/durantmainstr.org , on the web at www.durantmainstreet.org, or call us at (580) 924-1550.