DeKalb looks to revamp symbol of downtown

By Jessica Kalin

Main Street DeKalb is asking DeKalb residents to complete a survey to choose a new symbol for downtown DeKalb and to provide the organization with some direction.

Executive Director Jennifer Groce began a survey to identify the symbol, which may be the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Clock, the Egyptian Theatre or the trains. People are encouraged to respond to the survey and describe what they like or dislike about the downtown district and what keeps them coming.

“We want to identify the most important but underappreciated symbols of DeKalb,” Groce said. “We want to give focus to the downtown area and create a new logo for Main Street.”

The logo currently features the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Clock.

The eight-question survey is being sent to more than 1,200 people, including city council members and Main Street DeKalb members. It will be included in Main Street DeKalb’s e-mailed newsletter and soon will be featured at the organization’s Web site,

“The survey is hitting the community now. We are asking for all surveys to be in by April 30,” Groce said. The results will be compiled and released in mid-May.

The survey is intended to help Main Street DeKalb recognize the opinions of the community and to have the optimum mix of services, bars, restaurants and stores, Groce said.

Groce said she is encouraging the community’s help with ideas and suggestions.

Six-year resident Carol Schedin said the people of DeKalb and NIU students symbolize the community for her. The appeal of DeKalb is that everyone is really friendly, she said.

“It still has the atmosphere of a small town,” Schedin added.

Groce said she has her opinion of what symbolizes DeKalb, but she would not venture a guess on what would be the most popular selection.

“If I knew what the most important symbol was, I wouldn’t need the survey,” she said.

Main Street DeKalb survey questions

Why do you come downtown? Shopping? Dining? Business? Entertainment?

What do you like best about downtown?

What do you like least?

What is the most important, yet perhaps most underappreciated, symbol of our downtown? War memorial clock? Mural? Egyptian Theatre? The trains?

What would be the optimum mix (in percentages) of retail, bars, restaurants and services in downtown DeKalb?

Are you a resident of DeKalb? If not, where do you live?

Do you work in DeKalb?

Are you a college student?