Texas Main Street Program: Recalling the Rich History of the Past, and the Promise of the Future

July 26, 2018

Continuing a 37-year tradition for the Texas Main Street Program, in May I joined the Texas Historical Commission for our annual Main Street Tour, where we visited Temple and Pearsall to welcome these newest Main Street communities. Ceremonies and receptions were held in both towns. Click the photo to watch a highlight video from the 2018 First Lady's Main Street Tour.

The Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. Today, there are 89 official Texas Main Street programs. The programs are in communities of all sizes, ranging from less than 2,000 to more than 300,000 in population, and in all areas of Texas.

The Texas Main Street Program operates in affiliation with the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 1981, following a pilot project of the national center that studied ways to address the decline of America's downtowns, the Texas Main Street Program became one of the first statewide coordinating programs in the nation.

Over time, Texas Main Street communities have created more than $5.2 billion in economic reinvestment, nearly 39,000 local jobs, and 9,500 small businesses in their Main Street districts. Main Street’s success is also rooted in the dedication of community partners and volunteers. In the past 18 years, Main Street volunteers have contributed more than 1.6 million hours to the program in Texas.

Interested in becoming a Main Street Community? Texas towns can apply to this innovative and prestigious program through the end of this month. The application deadline is July 31. You can find more information at www.thc.texas.gov/becoming-main-street-community.