Prairie du Chien, the oldest Euro-American settlement established on the Upper Mississippi River, was a rendezvous point for early commerce and trade. The rich history of this second oldest town in Wisconsin is the focus of the PdC Main Street volunteers as they work to re-establish downtown as the social and economic heart of the community and promote the Downtown District.
Nestled between bluffs and the Mississippi River, the Downtown District is a shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment destination for sightseers, recreationalists and regional residents. The 20-block district begins on the west side at St. Feriole Island, running straight east to Blackhawk Junction and includes businesses one block north and south of Blackhawk Avenue. Architecture in the District reflects the history and dates back to the 1840s with many buildings restored to their unique charm and character. Local businesses include professional services, restaurants, bars, a bakery, specialty retail shops and public services.
Ten years ago, PdC was designated a Wisconsin Main Street community which has helped spur downtown revitalization. Improvements include new streetscapes, period streetlights, benches and planters and landscaped flower beds. There are many locations to host street music, family movie night or art festivals and seasonal farmer markets. Throughout the year, the downtown shopping district hosts several unique events for tourists and locals to enjoy – including PdC Palette featuring Zen Doodle and art events that involve an evening of painting and sipping at local dining establishments.
Downtown is the social and economic heart of our city and it reflects how our community sees itself. The Prairie du Chien Main Street program will champion the historic preservation of downtown to create a unique and aesthetically rich environment that is a lively and friendly destination for both consumers and businesses.