The national Main Street revitalization effort for historic downtowns was formed more than 35 years ago, and there has been a statewide Texas program since that time operating through the Texas Historical Commission. The Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) is one of the oldest and largest in the nation, with 87 fully designated communities. The program was brought to Texas by Anice Read, a former member of the Texas Historical Commission, who also served as first director of the state Main Street effort in 1981. More information about Mrs. Read and Texas Main Street's 35th anniversary can be found here.
The mission of the TMSP is "to provide technical expertise, resources and support for Texas communities in the preservation and revitalization of historic downtowns and commercial neighborhood districts in accord with the National Main Street Four Point Approach® of organization, economic restructuring, design and promotion." At the TMSP, staff work on a daily basis with our 87 designated communities to help them reach their revitalization and preservation goals through the framework of the Approach®. This methodology provides the necessary tools for local communities to effectively address the issues downtowns face.
The TMSP is part of the Community Heritage Development Division of the Texas Historical Commission and 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 TMSP became one of the first six statewide coordinating programs in the nation.
Congratulation to Beverly Short of Alvarado in Johnson County. She won a weekend getaway for two to Main Street Marshall in our Celebrate Main Street sweepstakes, commemoraing the 35th anniversary of the Texas Main Street Program. Have a great time experiencing all that the 16-year Main Street city has to offer, Beverly. Be sure to enter May's sweepstakes, where you can win a weekend getaway to Main Street Denton.
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Of the original communities accepted in 1981 to the Texas Main Street Program that remain designated today
Texas First Lady Visits New Main Streets
As part of a 35-year Texas Main Street tradition, Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott visited Sherman, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville in May to welcome the newest communities to Main Street. During all three visits, Mrs. Abbott was joined by state and local officials, local business owners and volunteers, and dozens of local residents eager to see the Main Street vision for their respective towns. Congratulations, Sherman, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville on their work to make their communities shine even brighter through historic preservation and economic development.
Become a Main Street Community
The application process for designation as a Texas Main Street community is now open. The deadline to apply is July 29, 2016. Each year, the Texas Historical Commission may accept up to five communities for designation and to receive Main Street services. More information and the application is available on the Becoming A Main Street Community section of this website.