The national Main Street revitalization effort for historic downtowns was formed 40 years ago, and there has been a statewide Texas program since that time, operating through the Texas Historical Commission. The Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. The program was brought to Texas by Anice Read, former member of the Texas Historical Commission and first director of the state Main Street effort. Her husband, Julian Read, a nationally prominent public relations expert, was also very instrumental in helping to grow the Texas Main Street Program within the Texas Historical Commission. The Anice and Julian Read Texas Main Street Program Fund has been created within the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission for donations.
The mission of the TMSP is "to provide technical expertise, resources, and support for Texas Main Street communities in accordance with the National Main Street Four Point Approach® of organization, economic vitality, design, and promotion. Using a team-centered approach, we strive to provide highly effective, individualized services to our 90 designated programs to help them reach their revitalization and preservation goals."
The TMSP is part of the Community Heritage Development Division of the Texas Historical Commission and operates in affiliation with Main Street America®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 1981, following a pilot project of the national center that studied ways to address the decline of America's downtowns, the TMSP accepted its first communities and became one of the first six statewide coordinating programs in the nation.
Main Street is a powerful tool for reviving local economies and bringing communities together to forge their future. Watch the video below to learn more.
Texas Main Street was one of the first coordinating programs in the country, created in 1980