The Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) of the Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized Longview Main Street for successful annual progress in carrying out national performance standards for a Main Street community. Longview Main Street is one of 68 to be recommended this year.
Upon final approval by the National Main Street Center/Main Street America™, these local programs will be announced as nationally accredited during the Main Street Now conference March 25–27 in Seattle, Wash.
“Since 1981, many Texas communities have participated in the Main Street network and used its preservation-based framework to generate positive economic gains for their local economies and the state,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “These positive strides happen because of local commitment to prioritize historic downtowns.”
To achieve accreditation, local programs provide evidence of annual progress under selection criteria including engaged partnerships, staffing, volunteer efforts, preservation ethic, physical improvements in the district, and growth in program capacity. The state office also works with programs throughout the year providing services catered to local needs.
“The annual reporting process recognizes the hard work of local programs, and we commend the dedication of city leaders, program staff, local volunteers, and partners who make it possible,” said Debra Drescher, TMSP state coordinator.
“I am tremendously proud of the efforts of the One Hundred Acres of Heritage Board, City of Longview staff members and volunteers that have made this year extremely successful for Downtown Longview. National accreditation validates these efforts and I know that we will continue to improve and grow our downtown in the next year,” said Melida Heien, Main Street Coordinator for the City of Longview.
The TMSP began in 1981 as one of the first state-coordinating programs in the country. Local Main Street programs focus on responsibly utilizing a community’s historic assets for economic benefit and increased quality of life. During 2018, more than $180 million was reinvested into Texas’ 89 Main Street districts. Additionally, 427 small businesses and 1,480 jobs were created. During 2018, the state network reached an important milestone when $4 billion in historical reinvestment was reached and surpassed.