Celebrating 20 years of Main Street
The La Grange Main Street program celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016. True grit, dreams, historic preservation of buildings and economic vitality lie at the heart of the Texas Historical Commission’s Main Street program. The overall goal of the Texas Main Street Program is to revitalize historic downtowns, thereby bringing the city’s center back to its historic location, creating community pride, and establishing a unique environment for all to enjoy.
Today, there are slightly more than 80 cities in the State of Texas with Main Street designations along with a national network of over 2,000 historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts in the Main Street America™ movement.
The people who make up Main Street programs across the country are passionate advocates, dedicated volunteers, influential stakeholders, and community organizers who work every day to turn the tide in their communities—catalyzing reinvestment, creating jobs, and fostering pride of place.
La Grange Main Street was started by a group of feisty citizens and business owners who wanted a better quality of life for their downtown Square. After years of gathering support for the program, the Texas Historical Commission approved La Grange’s Main Street application in October of 1995. First Lady Laura Bush and Jan Bullock were on hand at the inaugural ceremony in March of 1996 to help kick off La Grange’s program.
La Grange Main Street is a department within city government that works to achieve the program’s goals and initiatives. Staff alone could not accomplish all of these successes. The La Grange Main Street Advisory Board provides guidance, advice, and liaison with other organizations and agencies. The Advisory Board works to strengthen and enhance downtown La Grange as the economic and social focal point of the community based on the strong foundation of its historic past. The Main Street Board has monthly meetings as well as committee meetings to plan the various downtown events.
In addition to advisory board members, there are a number of committee volunteers who work to make our events fun and as smooth as possible.
Throughout the past 20 years, downtown La Grange has seen over $12 million in public investment. How lucky we are to have a fully restored county courthouse, a quaint Founders Park on the Square, new sidewalks on all four sides of the Square, and underground power lines.
With over $7 million in private investment, a number of buildings on the Square have received facelifts and extensive renovations and repairs.
To support the efforts of private business owners, the La Grange Main Street program offers sign, paint, and façade grants. These grants are designed to help offset the costs associated with making the exterior presence of our buildings on the Square much more inviting as well as preserving their historic nature.
Not only is La Grange Main Street focused on preserving the physical aspects of our downtown but we are also dedicated to stimulating our small business economy.
Through our annual events, businesses both on and off of the Square are invited to participate and help showcase our amazing city.
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