The American Planning Association (APA) designated the City of Milford’s North and South Walnut Street as a Top 10 Great Street for 2013. APA selected North and South Walnut Street for the honor based on the street’s architectural grandeur, a $2.2 million public-private revitalization including sidewalk and street improvements, a growing number of unique locally owned businesses, access to the Mispillion River walkway, and its location for the community’s vibrant visual and performing arts scene.
Traditionally, the City of Milford’s economy was tied to shipbuilding. As this industry declined, Milford has continued to evolve to capitalize on its history and unique character. With support from Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI), the City has worked to improve the built environment of its downtown and market its assets. Physical improvements along Walnut Street include removal of utility poles, burying power lines, adding benches and sidewalk planters, and adding historic lighting. Complementing these physical improvements is a rebranding and marketing campaign that dubs Milford as an “Art Town, River Town, Home Town.” The campaign has capitalized on the town events, celebrations, and volunteerism to stimulate economic activity along Walnut Street and throughout downtown. Annual events attracting visitors to the town include the Mispillion Art League’s Fine Art Show, a Bug and Bud Festival, annual holiday stroll, and Milford community parade.