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Main Street Design

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Click here to download an excellent short history of Main Street buildings here.


The Illinois Main Street program is a volunteer-driven, preservation-based, downtown revitalization program. This state program is based on the Four-Point Approach developed by the National Trust's National Main Street Center. Over 1,600 communities across the country have used this comprehensive methodology to revitalize their traditional commercial districts. Architectural Services are provided by the IHPA at no cost to designated Illinois Main Street communities.

Participating communities provide the funds for their local programs, each of which has a paid manager. The Main Street approach, which is tailored to meet local needs and opportunities, establishes four interdependent committees comprised of local volunteers that work in the following four key areas:

Design: enhancing the design and appearance of downtown through historic preservation
Organization: building an effective, volunteer-driven, managed, downtown organization, guided by professional staff
Promotion: establishing promotion strategies that bring people to downtown
Economic Restructuring: revitalizing downtown businesses through restructuring local economies

There is a range of available Architectural Services, with special emphasis on improving building facades. Services are broken into two categories: Building Services, which deal with specific buildings, and Community Services that include training, workshops, and committee consultation.

For a full description, you can download a PDF version of the Architectural Services Description. To request Building Services if you are a Main Street Executive Director, please complete the Building Services Request Form (PDF) and return it to the address of the form. If you’re a business or building owner within the downtown of an Associate, Designated or Premier Illinois Main Street community, please make sure to contact the Director of your local main street organization.



Project archive
Visit the Illinois Main Street Web site on the Lieutenant Governor's page at http://www.state.il.us/ltgov/mainstreet/default.htm.

Visit the National Main Street Center Web site at http://www.mainstreet.org/
Please look elsewhere on this website to obtain information about financial incentives or about Certified Local Governments.


"Basic" maintenance of your historic structure.
Starting Early: Creating Child-Friendly Downtowns
Mid-Century Main Street - Disappearing Modernism
Upper Story workshop

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