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Thread: Main Street Program

  1. #1

    Main Street Program

    I am curious about the National Trust's Main Street Program. I have looked at the website but it is a little sketchy on details. Does anyone know where the funding comes from for the towns? And how about new buildings, if a city is building a new "main street" can they still use the Main Street program? It seems to be focused on revitalization of existing buildings. Thanks

  2. #2

    Main Street Program

    The answer is not an easy one. Main Street programs are run differently in each state, although they all work with the same revitalization principles.

    Many provide no funding whatsoever, just technical assistance. In Wisconsin, the Bureau of Downtown Development holds an annual competition in which it selects 2-3 communities to enter into the program. One of the requirements is that the applicants must demonstrate that they have raised the funds necessary to maintain the program through its initial three years.

    Lately, there has been a movement to adapt Main Street principles and programs to neighborhood commercial districts as well as the traditional downtown. I do not know of any new downtowns formed with a Main Street approach. It would seem that Main Street would not really apply, since it focuses on historic preservation and economic restructuring, which wold not apply to a new development. But then, the ideas of good design, promotional activities, and etc. would benefit any commercial area.

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