The Colorado Main Street® Program is a program to revitalize traditional downtown districts within the context of historic preservation. The program uses an approach that advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of central business districts based on their traditional assets of unique architecture, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.
The Colorado Main Street Program is designed to assist communities in revitalizing their traditional downtown or neighborhood commercial districts. The Main Street program works throughout Colorado to help local governments and downtown organizations create an economically diverse business environment while preserving local character and historic resources.
The Colorado Main Street® Program provides resources, training and technical services in the four areas of the Main Street Approach® (economic restructuring, design, organization, and promotion) to competitively selected communities that are working in historically relevant business district settings and that meet certain threshold criteria. Main Street's Eight Guiding Principles provide a comprehensive approach to district and downtown revitalization.
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) manages the Colorado Main Street® program, with a grant from the State Historical Fund to fund the Main Street Architect. The Department of Local Affairs requires all communities interested in becoming a Candidate to submit an application. These applications are reviewed by DOLA Main Street staff, the Main Street Advisory Board and DOLA leadership. DOLA is happy to work with communities interested in preparing for Main Street Candidacy to ensure a strong application is completed.
National Main Street History
Concerned about continuing threats to Main Streets' commercial architecture and aware of the need to stimulate economic activity in small-city downtowns, the National Trust for Historic Preservation launched a community demonstration project (1977-1980) that resulted in the creation of the Main Street Four Point ApproachTM and establishment of the National Main Street Center in Washington, D.C.
Nationally, the Main Street Program has proven to be incredibly successful, making it one of the most powerful economic development tools in the nation. Today, the Main Street approach has been implemented in more than 2,000 communities!
Colorado Main Street History
Colorado was selected by the National Main Street Center for a state pilot Main Street project that ran from 1982-1985. Delta, Durango, Grand Junction, Manitou Springs, and Sterling were Colorado's Main Street communities in the initial pilot program. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs administered this three-year pilot program. Although the Main Street approach to downtown revitalization proved very successful in Colorado, the state discontinued the program after completing the three-year pilot project. Between 2000 and 2010, Downtown Colorado Inc. administered the Colorado Main Street program with a grant from the State Historical Fund of History Colorado because of the emphasis on historic preservation and the impact the program has had in revitalizing Colorado's downtowns.
In 2011, the administration of the program reverted back to the Department of Local Affairs with a grant from the State Historical Fund. Today, DOLA funds and manages the Colorado Main Street® program, with a grant from the State Historical Fund to fund the Main Street Architect.
Thank you to our Advisory Board members!
Executive Director, Colorado Preservation, Inc.
President, Gates Family Foundation
Director, Lamar Partnership Inc.
Director, Colorado Creative Industries, A Division of the Office of Economic Development
Senior Vice President, Public Finance Division, George K. Baum & Company
Legislative & Policy Advocate, Colorado Municipal League
Vice President of Preservation Programs, History Colorado
Stephanie Troller, Main Street Coordinator and Economic Development Specialist
Shay Ives, Community Revitalization Specialist
Tim Stroh, Main Street Preservation Architect
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