What is Main Street?
You may have recently been hearing or reading about the Associate Level Main Street program that many members of the Saline community have been involved in since last summer when the Michigan Main Street Center accepted the City of Saline into the Associate Level status of the program.
Main Street is a national movement that has spanned three decades and taken root in more than 2,000 communities – a movement that has spurred $49 billion in reinvestment in traditional downtown districts, galvanized thousands of volunteers, and changed the way governments, planners, and developers view preservation. Over the past 30 years, the National Trust Main Street Center has overseen the development of a national network of coordinating programs that today includes 37 statewide programs, seven citywide programs, and two regional programs. These coordinating programs help cities, towns, and villages revitalize their downtown and neighborhood business districts.
The Michigan Main Street program was established in 2003 and is housed within the Michigan State Housing development Authority and under contract with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Four Point Approach ® is a successful model for downtown and neighborhood district revitalization. It is a community-driven, grass-roots, comprehensive strategy. It’s been proven all over the United States since the 1980’s when the National Trust for Historic Preservation realized that a program was needed to preserve and enhance our Downtowns across the country. The most successful Main Street communities have an incredible volunteer base made up of residents, youth, seniors, government, business owners and more.
After completing the requirements of the Associate Level, the City of Saline Business Development Association recently committed to working towards the application for the Selected Level, which will be due at the end of the year. They formed a new 501 (c) 3 non-profit called the Saline Historic Downtown Alliance that will house the Main Street organization if accepted. If the application is successful, Saline will become one of only three communities that will be accepted in 2012. The ‘Route ’12 to Main Street’ campaign will be a challenging one! Our goal is to educate the community and build the needed support in order to apply. To learn more about the Main Street program please go to: www.michiganmainstreetcenter.com and www.preservationnation.org/mainstreet.