Regional Cities Accredited in Texas Main Street List



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Twenty-eight cities in the Upper East Side of Texas are among 84 officially recognized Texas Main Street destinations for 2013.

The Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. It is based on organization, design, promotion, and economic restructuring within the context of historic preservation. It also emphasizes above average performance in planning, partnerships, staffing, volunteer effort, preservation ethic, training, and program assessment through reporting. The state office also works with programs throughout the year by providing various services based upon local needs.

The accredited cities this year are Canton, Carthage, Clarksville, Corsicana, Denison, Farmersville, Gainesville, Gladewater, Grand Saline, Greenville, Henderson, Kilgore, Longview, Lufkin, Marshall, Mineola, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Nacogdoches, Palestine, Paris, Pittsburg, Rockwall, Royse City, San Augustine, Texarkana, Tyler, and Winnsboro.

“It really is a notable accomplishment to be recognized in this way, especially for those programs that do it year after year,” said Debra Farst, the state coordinator. “Incremental progress that leads to comprehensive success is at the core of the preservation-based Main Street model and that is exactly what these programs are showing. This process respects the unique nature of each Main Street community. Each program is recognized for their own local effort. They are truly real places telling real stories.”

With more than 30 percent of the state’s Main Street cities located in Northeast Texas, Farst said from a tourism standpoint, visitors interested in historic downtowns are likely to go there to check them out. There are some very historic cities in East Texas with the migration several hundred years ago when people came into the state through that area, she said.

Corsicana’s Main Street director, Steve Dieterichs, uses the accreditation as a sort of scorecard for improvement.

“We were pleased that the scoring of our annual report showed significant improvement over last year,” he said. “This news tracks with the doubling of capital reinvestment downtown from 2011 to 2012, and the 2:1 business openings-to-closings ratio we saw in 2012, and it speaks to the tremendous dedication and hard work of our volunteers and stakeholders.”

Tyler’s Main Street director, Beverly Abell, is proud for the city’s continued recognition.

“We are able to achieve this honor due to the hard work and leadership of hundreds of volunteers, businesses, property owners, and others whose goal it is to keep downtown a vital part of the economy and culture of Tyler and the surrounding area.”

Tyler has participated in the Main Street Program (nationwide network of preservation-based downtown revitalization groups) since 1990, when the community was one of the first in Texas with a population of more than 50,000 to participate. Since then, Main Street has tracked more than $100 million in reinvestment in downtown in the form of property sales, renovations, and public improvement projects.

For more information about the Main Street program, go to www.thc.state.tx.us.

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