Main Street Program achieves national accreditation

Monday, February 4, 2013 - 1:55pm

The City of Tyler’s Main Street Program has received National Accreditation, which distinguishes it as a downtown revitalization program that meets or exceeds ten critical areas of performance. The announcement was made Wednesday by the Texas Main Street Program of the Texas Historical Commission.


There were 67 designated Main Street programs in Texas recognized. These cities will be further recognized as Nationally Accredited by the National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, at the National Main Street conference in New Orleans this April.


“It really is a notable accomplishment to be recognized in this way, especially for those programs that do it year after year,” said Debra Farst, TMSP state coordinator. “Incremental progress that leads to comprehensive success is at the core of the preservation-based Main Street model and that is exactly what these programs are showing. This process respects the unique nature of each Main Street community. Each program is recognized for their own local effort. They are truly real places telling real stories.”


Accredited programs show above average performance in ten categories on an annual report. Selection criteria focus on planning, partnerships, staffing, volunteer efforts, preservation ethic, training and program assessment through reporting.


“We are proud that our Main Street Program is once again recognized with national accreditation,” said Main Street Department Leader Beverly Abell. “We are able to achieve this honor due to the hard work and leadership of hundreds of volunteers, businesses, property owners and others whose goal it is to keep downtown a vital part of the economy and culture of Tyler and the surrounding area.”


Tyler has participated in the Main Street Program (nationwide network of preservation-based downtown revitalization groups) since 1990, when the community was one of the first in Texas with a population of more than 50,000 to participate in the program. Since then, Main Street has tracked more than $100 million in reinvestment in downtown in the form of property sales, renovations and public improvement projects. Numerous projects have been accomplished over the years, including development of new businesses and jobs; historic preservation projects such as restoration of the Cotton Belt Depot; creation of the Downtown Business, Arts and Culture District; development of Gallery Main Street and its arts programming; the renovation and opening of Liberty Hall and events such as Festival on the Square, ArtWalk and others.


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