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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

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    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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  3. #3
    The National Main Street Center of the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been in existnce since 1980 and we have serviced over 1500 communities and neighborhood districts either directly to them or through 44 state and citywide programs. In recent years, we have helped establish several city-wide programs in Boston, Chicago, Dayton, and Baltimore. Though many state Main Street programs do not offer financioal assistance to local communities in establishing local Main Street programs, several states do and our urban programs all provide some form of start-up monies in addition to free technical assistance. However, as the NMSC and state and city-wide programs work with communities, we stress that 100% muncipal financial support is not the best option to support a program. Rather, a combination of sources should be sought from the private and public sectors to guarantee a long-lasting program.

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