LOGO What is the Main Street Program?

The Main Street Program was established in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Program was established to address and combat the threats on the commercial architecture and economic vitality of small city downtowns.

The local program, the Leavenworth Main Street Program, Inc. is a corporation formed by local business people, residents and city government who are interested and concerned with the economic health and revitalization of downtown. The volunteer membership serves as a fund raising mechanism to preserve our community's heritage.

Leavenworth Main Street Program's Mission Statement

Leavenworth Main Street Program, Inc. through a program of community awarness and involvement, will work to revitalize and preserve the downtown through education and historic preservation to keep it viable and attractive area for the benefit of the entire community.

The Main Street Approach

Across the nation, small cities are discovering that the Main Street approach can bring about dramatic positive change downtown. Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation. The approach advocates improvements in four areas to create a positive, distinctive image for downtown:

  • Organization: Establishing consensus and cooperation by building partnership among different groups that must work together to improve downtown--merchants, property owners, bankers, city officials, professionals, chamber members, and individual citizens.

  • Promotion: Creating and marketing a positive image of downtown to attract customers and investors by developing special events, festivals, and retail sales promotions; a public relations strategy; and attractive graphic and media presentations.

  • Design: Enhancing the visual quality of downtown by addressing all elements of the downtown environment--not just buildings and storefronts but also signs, public improvements, landscaping, merchandise displays, and promotional materials.

  • Economic Restructuring: Strengthening downtown's existing assets and diversifying its economic base by recruiting new stores to provide a balanced retail mix; improving the competitiveness of Main Street merchants; identyfying new anchors and converting unused space into housing, offices, or cultural facilities.

    The Main Street approach also advocates a return to community self-reliance and emphasizes the downtown's traditional assets: personal service, local ownership, unique architecture, and a sense of community.

  • Revitalizing Kansas's Downtowns

    Throughout Kansas there is a growing interest in improving the appearance and economic stability of historic downtown business districts. In many small communities, the main street is in a serious state of decline. Effective solutions to the problems of deteriorating building stock, loss of business, and the waning economic strenght of downtown are crucial to the survival of the city itself.

    There are many reasons for the community to actively encourage the revitalization of the downtown. An economically healthy downtown:

  • Builds a positive image for the community. An attractive downtown reflects a community's confidence in itself and its future.

  • Creates job opportunities. A revitalized downtown attracts new industry and strengthens service and retail markets.

  • Saves tax dollars. Revitalization stabilizes and improves the area's tax base, and protects the investment already made in downtown infrastructure.

  • Preserves the community's historic resources. In an economically healthy downtown, property owners can afford to maintain the historic commercial buildings and preserve an important part of the community's heritage.

  • Before Leavenworth Gets Any Older, Why Not Re-Invest In Her Future?

    How is the Program Funded?

  • Membership
  • Contributions
  • Promotions
  • City Government
  • Benefits to the community of a viable downtown

  • Visitors observe a sense of pride and vitality that exists in a community with a vibrant downtown.
  • An economically viable downtown creates more job opportunities for those living in the community and protects and enhances the local tax base.
  • A community's special assets and heritage are identified and nurtured.
  • Preservation of a community's historic past enhances the image of the community and helps to instill a sense of pride in the local citizens.
  • Prospective business and industry clients will look at the vitality of a downtown and the attractiveness of a community.
  • Growth of locally owned businesses and job creation.
  • Public and private reinvestment in the community.
  • More visitors will stop in our community and tourism dollars will rise.
  • A larger retail/service mix will retain more money which will be circulated locally.
  • The Main Street process builds local capacity to solve issues and fosters lasting private/public partnerships. The result is that this organization will develop to provide leadership in other areas the benefit the community.

    was created in 1980 as a human resource and technical reference center to stimulate economic development in the context of historic preservation in towns and small cities. The Center conducts training courses, provides technical assistance to states and towns, helps build business and government partnerships, and operates a membership network. For information call 202/673-4219.

    Advanced, professional certification program for Main Street managers. For information call 202/673-4219.

    Organizational membership program through which communities receive current information on revitalization techniques and activities nationwide. Members receive technical advice and referrals on issues of local concern. For information call 202/673-4219.

    This is the annual conference of Main Street revitalization professionals and volunteers sponsored by the National Main Street Center. For information, call 202/673-4219.