Historic downtown Angola has been a hub of activity even before Angola was incorporated as a town. It’s main feature is its New England style public square with Soldiers’ Monument at its center. Before the monument was erected, that central piece of land was known as “the mound”, which was where much of town business was conducted. The monument was erected in 1917 through individual donations and the County Commissioners at the time. Historic downtown Angola has been designated by the City of Angola as a historic district and its bounds determined by the City. In 2010 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Downtown has two historic areas- the Commercial Downtown Historic District and the Edwin W. Selman, Jr. Public Safety Building. The public safety building is a single-site designation and is the only building in Angola built by the Public Works Administration from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.
Aside from its historic nature, why is our downtown area important? From an economic standpoint, downtown Angola contains, as do most city centers, a concentrated area of public and private investment. It is a business center, made up of mostly independently owned businesses that support local events and schools and help keep profits in town. Downtown contains the government center of both Angola and Steuben County and is a significant contributor to the community tax base. It also offers us a sense of place – uniquely our own. It tells the story of generations of people struggling to build a community, working towards the American dream. It reflects who we are and how we see ourselves.