National Main Street Organization Launches Pilot Program to Bring New Resources to Downtown Revitalization in Three Colorado Towns

The National Main Street Center, Inc., has announced that three Colorado towns have been selected as demonstration sites to implement its revamped approach to comprehensive community revitalization and preservation-based economic development:  Brush, Lake City, and Steamboat Springs.  As a sponsoring partner, the Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Main Street program will use the pilot to help integrate the new approach into existing and future Main Street communities across the state.

“Colorado will serve as an ideal place to test out our enhanced strategy and outcome-focused revitalization approach.  Each of these towns has so much to offer, and we look forward to partnering with the Colorado Main Street on the initiative,” said Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.  “Our updated methodology incorporates lessons we’ve learned in our decades of working with communities of all sizes and we are confident these pilot projects will demonstrate that our approach continues to be highly effective in breathing new life in our country’s historic downtowns and commercial districts.”

The three selected towns are top performers in Colorado’s Main Street program, recognized for success in energizing their local economies, empowering community residents, and celebrating their distinctive character and local historyy.  As participants in the demonstration project, they will benefit from recent strategic improvements to the Main Street Center’s revitalization methodology that for 35 years has helped transform historic downtowns and urban neighborhoods nationwide.

Local leaders will receive 12 to 18 months of organizational capacity building and hands-on technical assistance from national experts on how to best involve the community in revitalization effors, plan and executive long-term strategic action, and effectively measure the impact of those efforts.

Originally launched as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980, the National Main Street Center pioneered an incremental, volunteer-driven strategy to help flagging downtowns countereract booming suburban growth.  This novel approach was in stark contrast to the urban renewal projects that were destroying commercial districts and neighborhoods all over the country.  By tapping two important community resources, citizen participation and its older and historic buildings, the Main Street Approach has helped reinvigorate America’s historic downtowns and commercial districts in cities and towns across the country

Posted November 17, 2015 on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.