Main Street Upgrade

HGTV Main Street Takeover Contest

Cornwall Alliance Submission

HGTV Main Street Takeover Contest

The Cornwall Alliance submitted an entry for the HGTV Whole Town Makeover - which is really a Main Street Makeover. As we all know, our Main Street needs a bit of fixing up! HGTV wants to find a town with under 40,000 residents where a handful of upgrades/renovations on Main Street would make a high postitive impact on the town. We sought to show why Cornwall would be such a great project for them

Bridge Street Bridge

The Bridge With No Name

On September 4, 2018, I predicted the Town Board’s position for the Town Board Workshop discussion when the Bridge Street Bridge appeared on the agenda. The arched stone and mortar bridge must be taken down before anyone turns it into a mini-park … or rather before anyone gets hurt. According to Supervisor Radazzo, the bridge is in that bad of condition. I was disappointed that Kerry supported Supervisor Randazzo on this.


9W Ramps - an update

An attractive entryway where 9W meets Quaker Ave.

Willow Street - 9W Ramps[Michael Summerfield Cornwall Expressso/Nov Town Board meeting],  October 18, 2018. 

Back in July I chatted with NYS DOT East Orange County engineers to discuss what was required to get permission to landscape the entrance/exit ramps on 9W @ Quaker and along 9W at Angola, Quaker and Willow to provide a more attractive and inviting entrances to Cornwall. I recently drove past Willow and see that some community members apparently took it upon themselves to create a really attractive garden spot.  My initial inquiries were with the County to duplicate the efforts of the Sullivan County “adopt-an-exit” program. It turns out I really needed the NYS DOT which has jurisdiction over 9W.

Who Owns Main Street?

So who owns Main Street?  So often one hears that Main Street is dead, owned by outsiders who don't care, boarded up and worse...  The reality is it almost entirely locally-owned.  If there is anyone to blame for a tepid downtown, it is the lack of planning, zoning and imagination.

Those Damn Wires!

Although we live in an increasingly "wireless" society, there is still a necessity to string wires from host companies to deliver power and communications.  In newer communities or the more "well-heeled" communities, wires are increasing buried underground.  In new construction this isn't a huge burden.  However, in older communities where sidewalks, roads and other utiity rights of way need to be broken down and re-established, burying lines is a formidable and expensive task.  However, there are alternatives to burying the lines.


Arriving at Main Street

Arriving at Main Street

The entries to the main business district evokes the first impression of the town as faded and apathetic.  These are not citizen-volunteer sprucing up projects.  The Town Council, its County legislator, Assemblyman, State Senator and grant-writing specials need to tacle these capital improvent projects.


Main St. Business Wish List

Previously identified “wished for” businesses include :

  • Clothing stores

  • Shoe stores

  • Butcher shop

  • Bakery

  • Artist studio

  • Ice cream parlor

  • Antique store

  • Music venue

  • Art movie theater

  • Playhouse theater

  • Casual sandwich shop/restaurant

Downtown Facades & Zoning

Cornwall has very few noticable empty storefronts downtown now. The eventual withdrawal of the recession and the arrival of DeCicco's has brought Main St. back to life.  In DeCicco's wake arrived Tina'sBrid's Closet, Bodies in Balanceand numerous other niche stores and services. 

Other Main Street improvements:

  • Banners where utility poles will accomodate
  • Hanging baskets where utility poles will accommodate
  • Potted flowers/urnw where sidewalk clearance will accommodate

Main Street Private Initiatives

Cornwall is lacking a downtown marketing strategy. This kind of a strategy would help in providing a consistent theme and help the downtown to focus its efforts. Sometimes a unified or common theme can help tie the downtown area together and achieve a more welcoming appearance.  

Here are some suggestions for both strategizing and implementation of immediate gratification upgrades:

Town Supervisors and Council

20020-22  Richard Randazzo, Supervisor;  Council: Kerry McGuinness, Josh Wojehowski, Virginia Scott,  Helen Bunt* 

20016-19  Richard Randazzo, Supervisor;  Council: Kerry McGuinness, Michael Summerfield, Peter Russell (2018), Virginia Scott {2019),  Helen Bunt* 

20014-15  Randy Clark, Supervisor;  Council: Helen Bunt, Kerry McGuinness [1 yr], Betty Longinott, Peter Russell, Jim McGee* non-voting Deputy Supervisor

2012-13   Kevin Quigley, Supervisor, Council:  Randy Clark, Al Mazzaco, Betty Longinott, Mary Beth Greene-Kraftt*

20010-11   Kevin Quigley, Supervisor, Council:  Randy Clark, Al Mazzaco, Betty Longinott, Mary Beth Greene-Kraftt*

2008-09   Kevin Quigley, Supervisor; Council:  Randy Clark, Al Mazzaco, Betty Longinott, Mary Beth Greene-Kraftt*

2006-07   Richard Randazzo, Supervisor; Council:  Randy Clark, Al Mazzaco, Kerry McGuinness Mary Beth Greene-Kraftt*

2004-05   Richard Randazzo, Supervisor; Council: Randy Clark, Kerry McGuinness, [vacancy] Mary Beth Greene-Kraftt*

2002-03   Jim Sollami, Supervisor;  Council:  Daniel Rohe, Mary Beth Greene-Kraftt, David Lincoln, James Fanning*

2000-01   Helen Bunt, Supervisor; Council:  James Fanning, Daniel Rohe, Mary Beth Greene-Kraftt, David Lincoln

1998-99  Richard Randazzo, Supervisor; Council:  James Fanning, Helen Bunt, Robert Funck,  Karen Renfrey

1996-97  Richard Randazzo, Supervisor; Council:  James Fanning, Helen Bunt, Kevin Quigley, Robert Funck

1993-95  Kenn Brodmerkel, Supervisor; Council:  Anthony Cavallo, James Fanning, Kevin Quigley, Bryon Rostanzo


1989-91  Richard Randazzo, Supervisor; Council:  Irving Weeks, Graham Kelder, Curt Remfrey, James Fanning

 * indicates served as Deputy Town Supervisor