Main Street is a national movement that began in 1980 and has since taken root in more than 2,000 communities - a movement that has spurred $49 billion in reinvestment in traditional commercial districts, galvanized thousands of volunteers, and changed the way governments, planners, and developers view preservation. Over the years, the National Main Street Center has overseen the development of a national network of coordinating programs that today includes statewide programs, citywide programs, and regional programs. These coordinating programs help cities, towns, and villages revitalize their downtown and neighborhood business districts. Coordinating program staff help build the capacity of local Main Street programs, expand the network of Main Street communities, provide resources and technical assistance, and work with the National Main Street Center to explore new solutions to revitalization challenges and respond to emerging trends throughout the nation.
We all know where our Main Streets are, but do we know what they are and why they matter? Whether they are named First Avenue or Water Street or Martin Luther King Boulevard, what they represent is universal. Main Street is the economic engine, the big stage, the core of the community. Our Main Streets tell us who we are and who we were, and how the past has shaped us. We do not go to bland suburbs or enclosed shopping malls to learn about our past, explore our culture, or discover our identity. Our Main Streets are the places of shared memory where people still come together to live, work, and play.
So what is Main Street? The phrase has been used to describe everything from our nostalgic past to our current economic woes, but when we talk about Main Street®, we are thinking of real places doing real work to revitalize their economies and preserve their character. Specifically, Main Street® is three things: a proven strategy for revitalization, a powerful network of linked communities, and a national support program that leads the field.
Hammond Downtown Development District belongs to Louisiana Main Street, run through the State office of Cultural Development. We are also a long standing member of the National Main Street organization.
In 2019 the Hammond Main Street was recoginzed as a semi-finalist for the Great American Main Street Award? What does that mean? It's the highest honor awarded in the Main Street community making our Downtown the Top 10 greatest Main Streets for 2019.