Becoming a Main Street Community


The Application to become a designated Texas Main Street community in 2021 closed August 31, 2020. Applications are typically accepted once each year on the last working day of July for entrance the following January.

A REFERENCE COPY of the Application is available here. The application designed for completion in the next round will be made available in January 2021. A Presentation about becoming a Main Street community is available for viewing.

Contact the Texas Main Street State Coordinator for information on the program or pertaining to the application process.  Information about current participants can be found here on this website. Incoming Main Street communities for 2021 will be considered by THC Commissioners at their quarterly meeting in October and formally announced at the annual Texas Downtown Conference (virtual) in November. ____________________________________________________________________

Each year, the Texas Historical Commission may select up to five Texas cities for official Main Street designation. Historic neighborhood commercial districts are also eligible to apply. There is no application fee. With this designation, communities become part of a powerful statewide and national network. Designated communities receive a range of services from the Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) staff. This includes professional expertise provided to the program, and downtown property and business owners in the areas of design, preservation, downtown-specific economic development, organizational management and small business development, as well as being able to showcase your districts and assets on our proprietary website



There are currently 87 officially designated Main Street communities in Texas. They are communities of all sizes across the state of Texas.

Programs pay a nominal annual fee to participate and receive a continual range of services from the TMSP and additional benefits, which includes:

  • A full range of design services from a professionally-trained and licensed TMSP staff to help downtown property owners undertake effective rehabilitation, restoration and adaptive re-use projects. Additional, as-needed technical consultation with business and property owners on a variety of topics.
  • Strategic planning, program capacity building and organizational management for the Main Street organization.
  • Individualized, on-site training for Main Street managers, boards and other Main Street participants.
  • Statewide, Main Street-specific trainings/professional development opportunities annually for any volunteers or staff of participant communities, plus an annual downtown revitalization conference in partnerships with the Texas Downtown Association.
  • Product development, such as design reports for specific properties, market analysis and strategic planning reports to help drive the Plan of Work and other technical reports based upon the community’s individual needs.
  • Access to resources for professional development and assistance with downtown issues.
  • Comprehensive technical assistance to further economic development in the Main Street district
  • Access for non-entitlement communities to a Main Street-specific pool of improvement funds through the Texas Capital Fund of the Texas Department of Agriculture.

HarlingenTo apply, a community must agree to hire a full-time Main Street Director, adequately budget for the local program, and show the following:

I. Historic commercial fabric and historic character—The historic significance/fabric of the proposed Main Street area and the interest in and commitment to historic preservation. 

II. Community and private sector support and organizational capacity—Demonstrates community and private sector support for the program as well as the capability of the applicant to successfully implement the Main Street Program. 

III. Support and financial capacity—Demonstrates the financial capability to employ a full-time manager, fund a local Main Street Program and support downtown-related projects. 

IV. Physical capacity and business environment—The cohesiveness, distinctiveness and variety of business activity conducted in the proposed Main Street Program area. 

V. Demonstrated need—The need for the Main Street Program. 

VI.Geographic distribution and discretionary— Extra points can be added for underserved location.

GeorgetownAn applicant from a community of less than 50,000 in population applies as a small-city program through city government. An urban program with more than 50,000 population may choose to apply either under state government or through a stand-alone non-profit.

Questions about the program or application process can be directed to the TMSP State Coordinator. You may also read more about the process for designation in the Texas Administrative Code .