Main Street was established as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 as a way to address the myriad issues facing older and historic downtowns during that time. Working with a nationwide network of coordinating programs and local communities, Main Street has helped over 2,000 communities across the country bring economic vitality back downtown, while celebrating their historic character, and bringing communities together.
An exciting new chapter for the organization began on July 1, 2013, when the Main Street program launched as an independent subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This transition enables Main Street to build on its three-decade record of success, with new leadership and new resources that will help communities respond to evolving needs and opportunities in the commercial district revitalization field.
In 2015, the Center launched a new program brand for the network of Main Street programs—Main Street America™—to reinvigorate our collective look, feel, and strategy to position Main Street as a leader locally, regionally, and nationally. Main Street America is based in Chicago, Illinois, with an office in Washington, DC, and field staff located throughout the country.