Midtown Action Council (MAC) is celebrating more than 40 years of community service. Formed on Nov. 14 ,1977, MAC is an incorporated organization that encompasses “Historic Midtown,” better known as the area from Forster to Verbeke streets and from Front to Third streets.
Learn more about MAC’s 40-plus years of service. Click HERE to download an anniversary column by founding member and current board member, David Morrison, or scroll down to read it in its entirety.
MAC is a community group focused on improving the quality of life in Midtown.
MAC has been involved with many neighborhood improvement and beautification projects, like purchasing and installing an outdoor bench at the Broad Street Market, installing street banners throughout Historic Midtown, supporting local businesses, working with local officials on community improvements, and much more.
MAC meets at 6 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at the Historic Harrisburg Association (HHA) building at Third and Verbeke streets. Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midtown Action Council Observes 40th Anniversary on Nov. 14, 2017
MAC was founded as the Midtown Square Action Council on Nov. 14, 1977 by the late Marianne Faust, who had served a few years earlier as the first President of Historic Harrisburg Association, 1973 – 1975. Marianne was a ball of fire who passionately saw the possibilities for a Harrisburg that was still very much in the slump of the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.
Marianne and her husband, the late Bill Faust, who served for many years as Executive Director of the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority, lived at 133 Herr Street in the heart of what was just beginning to be called “Midtown.” She recruited other neighbors and formed a board of directors, bylaws and defined the “Midtown Square” as Forster to Verbeke Street and Front to Third Street, including both sides of Third and of Verbeke. All residents of that area were deemed members.
MAC was one of the first neighborhood organizations that was formally constituted, its only predecessor being the Bellevue Park Association, which has been that neighborhood’s homeowner association from its 1909 beginning, with a number of legal, governance and real estate responsibilities.
One early leader of “MAC”, as it was commonly known (even many years before a vote of the membership in 2016 to formally from the “Square” from the name) was the late David Hoffman, among many who lived on Green, Penn, Boas, Cumberland and other streets in the neighborhood. At the time, the neighborhood was transitioning from a classic urban working-class neighborhood, with many elderly long-time residents and a lot fewer cars than today.
Early initiatives of MAC included playing a lead role in getting the City of Harrisburg to establish the residential parking permit system, as well as a major endeavor to plant street trees in the early 1980s. Other endeavors have included an annual neighborhood sidewalk sale in May that continues to this day, and occasional street parties and festivals. After the “new old-fashioned” street lamps were installed in the 1980s, for many years a MAC volunteer crew decorated them with greens and red bows each holiday season. An annual dinner, free to all neighbors, has been organized and cooked by volunteers, either at the Second City Church or at the Salvation Army, followed by the MAC membership annual meeting.
MAC has always endeavored to collaborate with other entities, such as the Broad Street Market, the former Midtown Market District, and the New Fox Ridge Homeowners Association, with whom it shares an interest in Third Street’s roles as Midtown’s “main street.”
Most recently, in 2017, as part of its 40th Anniversary strategic planning, MAC settled on graffiti removal as a practical initiative that was needed in the community that could stand as an enduring outcome of the anniversary observance. Accordingly, MAC partnered with Historic Harrisburg Association and the Friends of Midtown to establish a graffiti removal task force, acquiring industrial-strength graffiti removal equipment and materials and providing training to volunteers and property owners. Starting in the Summer of 2017, so far more than a dozen properties have benefitted from this program, including numerous private residences, businesses, the Susquehanna Art Museum and Kunkel Plaza at Front and State Streets.