Main Street Akron

a photo of the rubber statue

Akron’s history as the rubber capital of the world has been celebrated in books and a documentary. Now the city has a plan to recognize the thousands of workers who made that happen.

It started with a suggestion from a man who worked at B.F. Goodrich in the late 1970s.

“There’s still a rubber pulse in Akron. It’s still beating," said Joel Neilsen of Broadview Heights. He first felt that pulse when he started his career as a 20-something tire development engineer. He recalls interacting with the workers.

photo of prison cell

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, July 18: 

First Night Akron celebration

After 22 years of New Year’s Eve celebrations, First Night Akron is ending. The Downtown Akron Partnership, which organizes the event, said declining attendance and changing trends over the years led to the decision.

Sharon Gillberg is the partnership’s Communications Director.

Photo of a bike at the program's announcement

Akron is getting $127,000 to plan for a grid of bicycle lanes throughout the city.

photo of Akron Main Street project

Akron now has $13 million to put toward its re-making of Main Street, thanks to a second federal grant. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia takes a looks at the planned transformation.

photo of Main Street Akron

Akron is getting $8 million in federal funding for its Main Street Promenade project.

The promenade project is concentrated on Main Street between Perkins and Mill -- north of the John S. Knight Center. Mayor Dan Horrigan says the funds will go toward repairs, more greenspace and improved accessibility for people with disabilities. And he thanked Ohio's congressional delegation for its bipartisan support in securing the grant.

Lock 4 Arcade Mock-up
Beth Borda / Bowery Development Group

The group behind the Bowery Project in downtown Akron is looking for an additional $2 million to add a classical arcade to the redevelopment plan.

The Bowery Development Group, made up of DeHoff Development and the Welty Building Company, is spearheading the $38 million effort to renovate part of Akron’s Main Street adjacent to the Civic Theatre.

DeHoff Vice President Beth Borda says the arcade will make it easier to transition between Main Street and the Lock 4 Canal, which flows two stories below.