Letter to the Editor: Glen Rose should consider rejoining state Main Street program

accesories-text-editor-hi[Editor's note: This letter was in response to the editor's column about a recent meeting to discuss an action plan for downtown revitalization. Glen Rose used to be involved in the Texas Main Street Program the writer describes, but has not in recent years.]

This is fantastic news. The fact that so many people care so deeply about the square and revitalization and they are willing to hold formal meetings to discuss it says a lot about the heart of this town. No one wants to see it dry up and blow away. It sounds to me like Glen Rose may need to consider being in the Texas Main Street Program offered through the Texas Historical Commission.

This is what I gleaned from the THC Website: The mission of the Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) is “to provide technical expertise, resources and support for Texas communities in the preservation and revitalization of historic downtowns and commercial neighborhood districts in accord with the National Main Street Four Point Approach® of organization, economic restructuring, design and promotion.” At the TMSP, staff works on a daily basis with our 84 designated communities to help them reach their revitalization and preservation goals through the framework of the Approach®. This methodology provides the necessary tools for local communities to effectively address the issues downtowns face.

The Four Point Approach® to Downtown Revitalization Under the Main Street Philosophy

Organization: Partnerships are essential for successful preservation-based downtown revitalization. Through a solid Main Street structure, many groups that share an interest in the health of downtown come together to work toward an agreed-upon vision for downtown and thus, for the community.

Promotion: This aspect of the Approach is utilized to market a unified, quality image of the business district as the center of activities, goods and services.

Design: Capitalizing on the downtown’s unique physical assets and heritage, design activities such as building rehabilitations, utilization of preservation-based tools and ordinances and effective planning practices help to create an active district and maintain its authenticity.

Economic Restructuring: In this area, a targeted program is developed to identify new market opportunities for the commercial district, find new uses for historic commercial buildings, and stimulate investment in property.

There are many reasons why downtown revitalization is a crucial tool for enhancing the economic and social health of a community. In addition to being the most visible indicator of community pride and economic health, the historic downtown is also the foundation of community heritage. The historic buildings in a downtown are prime locations for the establishment of unique entrepreneurial businesses and can also be tourism attractors, all of which add to the community’s sales tax collections and property values. Today, massive, look-alike retail centers permeate the national landscape, making it even more important that communities be proactive in saving and using their historic spaces to avoid becoming featureless places. Working in all four activity areas, local Main Street programs rejuvenate these special places.

Today, there are 84 official Texas Main Street communities all across Texas that range in population from 2,000 to more than 200,000. Cumulatively, designated Texas Main Street communities have reported significant reinvestment into their historic downtowns:

More than $2.6 billion of overall reinvestment has been reported, of which 65% has been from private investment.
Additionally, Main Street cities have added almost 29,000 jobs and 7,500 new small businesses to the Texas economy.
These reinvestments show that there is significant economic development impact from historic preservation. TMSP staff works hand in hand with designated communities to help them achieve their goals.

I have applied for the CVB position and I would love an opportunity to take Glen Rose in a solid and clear direction.

Andrea Cryer

- See more at: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-and-programs/texas-main-street/about-texas-main-street-program#sthash.7oc8DsLy.dpuf

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