A Little About Us
Downtown is where our city was born and, we believe that downtown is where it will be reborn. Downtown is where our grandparents and great-grandparents shopped, worked, played and worshiped. Downtown was the place where new inventions were made, ambitious dreams were put into motion and where industry fueled the growth of our great nation.
Our Vision is to see Downtown Altoona reborn as the prominent center for innovation, arts, history and shared community for our city and region.
For a century, Altoona’s downtown was the center of our community. If you were looking for the classiest restaurants, the most cutting-edge innovations, or the newest act on the vaudeville circuit, Downtown Altoona is where you would come. Downtown businesses led the way in innovation, arts, culture, transportation and commerce.
But in the 1960’s, with the rapid decline of the railroad and the rise of suburban shopping districts, Altoona’s downtown became almost a ghost town, barely a shadow of what it had been. Much like our beloved building, many thought our downtown was beyond saving.
But more modern trends like the rise of tech and e-commerce giants have caused many of the suburban shopping districts to struggle and fail. As these malls have failed, younger generations have been left in a desperate search for places to connect, not just to each other but to their broader community and history. We believe that the time is ripe for downtowns all across our nation to be reborn.
Come and join us as we strike the spark to reignite our mountain-beautiful, rail-powered frontier home: Our Downtown, Our Altoona.