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Case Studies 

West Main Street, Sackets Harbor

Sackets Harbor



Contributed by 
Denise Young
Project for Public Spaces
September 15, 2005
December 14, 2017

A warm and welcoming village main street where small shops, great eateries, and good entertainment make smiles the order of the day for one and all.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

This is a walkable main street where sidewalks are surrounded by foliage and flowers, where neighbors and strangers stop to talk overlooking a historic Lake Ontario harbor. It is common to see artists at work on paintings and to hear them at work on a variety instruments. The village has a rich well-preserved history from the War of 1812 and offers opportunities to learn about history and about nature as it also sits along the beautiful Seaway Trails system.

Access & Linkages

The Village of Sackets Harbor is accessible from a main thoroughfare. It is a well-known local gathering place that people travel to and return to again and again whether to meet friends for lunch, listen to concerts in the park, enjoy a great night of comedy at the playhouse or have a brew at the local pubs. The sidewalks are clear well-maintained and beautiful to the eye. Parking is plentiful at either end of the Village and since a walk down the street is sheer pleasure, to many of us the consensus is the farther away we get to park the better.

Comfort & Image

The first impression of this street is "if we stop here something good is going to happen." It is clean, cared for and safe. You can see children's bicycles parked next to Harley Davidson Motorcycles, parked next to Mercedes, parked next to a beat up Jeep and the full range of people from those vehicles moving along the streets - all looking relaxed and happy.

Uses & Activities

People regularly gather with family and friends in Sackets. If someone calls to meet for lunch - the most common suggestion is "Let's go to Sackets". On the weekends the Village fills with locals and tourists alike attending a range of concerts, art auctions, fireworks and festivals.


If social tenor were a sound Sackets would be a warm rich melody. To me it may sound like Jazz, to the couple stepping out of the Mercedes it may be pure opera, and to the child on the bike it may be the Muppets, but to us all it is surely sweet. The village pride infects locals and visitors alike...we live 30 miles away yet when "Sackets" enters the conversation we feel a rush of pride. It is one of those places that you overhear people bragging about having visited..."and there we were in Sackets."

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

West Main Street, Sackets Harbor
West Main Street, Sackets Harbor
A coffe shop offers sidewalk seating.
West Main Street, Sackets Harbor
A group in historical dress participate in a parade.
West Main Street, Sackets Harbor
The Lovin' Spoonful ice-cream shop is a favorite stop along West Main.
West Main Street, Sackets Harbor
A couple enjoys the view of the Harbor.
West Main Street, Sackets Harbor
West Main Street, Sackets Harbor
West Main Street, Sackets Harbor

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


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