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Welcome to the National Main Street Center, Inc.

The National Main Street Center is a national organization committed to historic preservation-based community revitalization. Through education, outreach, hands-on training, online resources, facilitating connections and conferences, we inspire and enable leaders across the country to build strong communities. For the past 34 years, the National Main Street Center has equipped more than 2,000 communities with an organizing framework to preserve and revitalize their traditional downtowns and commercial districts.

By using the Main Street Four Point Approach®, the affiliated Main Street organizations that make up the Main Street Network have rehabbed more than 246,000 buildings, produced $59.6 billion in investment, and created 502,728 jobs, (see more on our reinvestment statistics). Building on this successful foundation, the National Main Street Center is committed to expanding the impact of the Main Street program by providing a new generation of research and resources to existing Main Street programs and extending our reach to other commercial districts that are not yet part of the Main Street Network.

We invite you to explore and utilize the reorganized as a tool to support your work revitalizing our historic downtowns, cities, and neighborhood business districts.

Not a member yet? Learn more and join today.


Main Street Now

The latest edition of Main Street Now is available! This issue explores a range of topics but a single theme unites each of the articles: cultivating strong leaders on Main Street. The issue kicks off with a photo essay by Mike Jackson, FAIA, intended to connect you to resources that will help you learn more about the architectural history of your Main Street, and inform your decisions about how to approach design issues. This issue also provides an overview on the federal historic tax credit and shines the spotlight on 13 Main Street directors who have led local Main Street programs for more than 25 years. We hope that this issue provides you with the ideas, tools and resources you need to take your leadership skills to the next level. Members may access the latest edition here.

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2015 National Main Streets Conference

The 2015 National Main Streets Conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, March 30 - April 2. This year's theme is TEAM Main Street: Teamwork and Entrepreneurship across Main Street. The conference will be focused on bringing partners together to discuss opportunities to build a stronger team both locally and nationally that will work with and support entrepreneurs to ensure the sustainability and excitement around downtown redevelopment. Join us as we look at ways to support rural, suburban and urban districts through creative economies, technology, and small business development. For all of the latest news and information, sign up for conference email alerts.

Main Street OrientationNew Main Street Director Orientation

New to Main Street? Be sure to check out this online training, hosted by Norma Miess, National Main Street Center's Director of Leadership Development and Senior Field Officer. In it, Norma addresses the intangible value of the Main Street Approach for communities, outlines the resources available to new Directors from the National Main Street Center, and discusses the key roles of an effective Main Street Director. This training is especially useful for Directors with less than 2 years in Main Street to participate, but all Main Street Directors are encouraged to check it out.



A Primer on Design Guidelines

What sets your downtown apart from the strip mall, or the next town down the road? The answer is varied, but often involves your historic buildings, local landmarks, and the pedestrian scale. From gateways to corridors to downtowns, what people see is critically important; a strong link exists between community design and economic development. An important component in maintaining and improving community aesthetic is the creation of a local design review body and accompanying design guidelines. Design guidelines provide a framework for proposed changes to the physical environment including buildings, streetscape improvements, landscaping, and signs, thus enhancing the overall appearance of downtown. Learn more about design guidelines in this week's feature article!