Two Texas Cities Join Prestigious Revitalization Program

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has designated Mineral Wells and Hamilton as incoming 2020 official Texas Main Street communities. The announcement was made October 4 at the THC’s quarterly commission meeting in Brownsville.

The THC’s Texas Main Street Program is a 40-year-old revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. It is part of a nationwide preservation-based economic development effort. Mineral Wells and Hamilton officially enter the program January 1, bringing the number of fully designated Main Street communities in Texas up to 90. With a current estimated population of approximately 3,200, Hamilton joins 18 other Texas communities under 5,000 that maintain Main Street designations. Mineral Wells, with a population of 15,341, joins a similar peer group of mid-sized communities in the program. Communities in any population category are eligible to apply for Main Street designation.

“The Texas Main Street Program preserves the character of Texas’ downtowns, attracting new businesses and bringing more tourist dollars into local communities,” said THC Chairman John L. Nau, III. “Historic preservation isn’t about the past—it’s about developing new economic opportunities for the future. We are excited to see how Mineral Wells’ and Hamilton’s downtown districts grow through the program.”

The Main Street Program stimulates private-sector reinvestment in historic downtowns, and helps retain, expand, and recruit small businesses, while also creating new jobs in Texas. Since becoming one of the first state coordinating programs in the U.S. in 1981, 180 Texas communities have participated in the program. Designated communities have generated more than $4.4 billion in overall reinvestment into their historic downtowns and created almost 42,000 jobs and more than 10,000 small businesses.

Every year, the THC may select up to five cities for official Main Street designation. Local Main Street programs receive a wide range of services and technical expertise from the THC, including design and historic preservation, planning, economic development, organizational management, and training. The Texas program is affiliated with the National Main Street Center/Main Street America™, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Main Street model is based on a Four-Point Approach™ of preservation-based revitalization for historic downtowns.

For more information on the Texas Main Street Program, contact State Coordinator Debra Drescher at 512-463-5758, or debra.drescher@thc.texas.gov, or visit the THC’s website at www.thc.texas.gov/mainstreet.