"Texas Main Street" Program Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Texas Historical Commission is celebrating the 25th anniversary of a unique program called "Texas Main Street". As Houston Public Radio's Paul Pendergraft reports, the effort is designed to help communities revitalize their downtowns that may be in disrepair.

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In the 25 years of the program, the Texas Historical Commission has worked with more than 140 Texas cities to help them restore their once thriving downtowns and city square. Debra Farst is the Coordinator of the program and says they're committed to helping qualifying cities and towns return life and business to their downtowns. She says not every community can qualify for the help. she says it's a competitive process whereby communities have to apply for the certification and then prove they're committed to the process.

"Services of architects, board planning, strategic planning those sorts of things...site visits...a lot of training...networking opportunities but actually the work, the grass roots work of the program comes from the volunteers and managers in the local towns."

The revitalization covers everything from lighting to park benches to abandoned buildings.

"Streetscapes, master planning, infrastructure and then private sector involvement too from the rehabilitation of buildings from the economic develoment aspect of new businesses."

Farst says one of their many success stories is Brenham.

"When you go to Brenham, you just get a really great feeling about being there because there are so many great things to do and see in their small downtown."

More information about this program is available through a link on our website kuhf.org

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