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Partners in Preservation 2018: Projects in UM Communities

October 17, 2018 | Partners in Preservation 2018: Projects in UM Communities | 
Last month, the National Main Street Center announced the launch of Partners in Preservation: Main Street, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, American Express, and National Geographic. From community gathering spaces to retail incubators, from small towns to big cities – this year’s projects and communities are a testament to the diversity of Main Streets across the country.

Neighborhood Commercial Corridors or Main Streets often are the economic engine of neighborhoods and have played a role in creating jobs, building community wealth, serving as gathering places for local community residents and in some cases a safe place for people of diverse backgrounds to shop. These corridors are places where residents feel a strong sense of inclusion, pride, and support of the local small business economy and they are often cater to an array of cultures and experience. 

This year’s PIP program brings together a broad swath of projects including sites of significant historical value and buildings whose rehabilitation will spur opportunity for the district. Beyond preservation of historic structures, participants in the campaign are creating energy and enthusiasm from members of the community for long-term neighborhood revitalization. From a church turned business incubator to historic housing for auto workers, the diversity of these sites is held not only in communities or events represented, but also in the multiple voices and stories contained in each.

You can help decide which sites will be awarded $2 million in American-Express-funded grants. Show your favorite UrbanMain sites some love by voting once a day for up to five projects through October 26th at

Seven of the projects that are a part of the 2018 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign are located in urban communities where Main Street America and UrbanMain have worked or are currently working. Check out the projects and details on MSA and UM’s work in the project communities below.

Birmingham, Alabama Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

Photography by Branden Harvey, @brandenharvey

UM/MSA Work: In 2017, UrbanMain worked with REV Birmingham to implement the Main Street Approach in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood, helping the community find their own voice and position within a city-wide revitalization program.

Vote for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church here.

Boston, Massachusetts – Roslindale Congregational Church

Boston_1.pngPhotography by Brian McWilliams, @brianmcw

UM/MSA Work: In 2018, UrbanMain worked with Boston Main Street managers - including Urban MSA program Roslindale Main Street - to refresh their engagement with the Main Street Approach. The workshop was part lecture and experiential learning, utilizing Boston's north end commercial district as an example to apply tools learned as part of the lecture.

Vote for the Rosindale Congregational Church here.

Chicago, Illinois - Bronzeville Cookin'

Chicago.pngPhotography by Brema, @optic.legacy

UM/MSA Work: In Spring 2018, the 51st Street Business Association in Bronzeville was selected as one of two Chicago UrbanMain projects. Work in these communities will be the development of organizational capacity, the assessment of district needs and assets through a combination of community engagement and market analysis, and the creation of Transformation Strategies to guide the district's path moving forward.

Vote for Bronzeville Cookin'  here.

Baltimore, Maryland - The Arch Social Club

Baltimore.pngPhotography by Matt Steinberg, @mattytae

UM/MSA Relationship: UrbanMain will be working with Baltimore and its Main Streets - including Urban MSA program Pennsylvania Ave. Main Street - implementing the Main Street Approach. 

Vote for The Arch Social Club here.

Danville, Virginia - Union Street

Danville_2.pngPhotography by Branden Harvey, @brandenharvey

UM/MSA Relationship: Although this is not an Urban area, UrbanMain has provided services to this district. The Danville River District Association in Virginia invited the National Main Street Center’s Dionne Baux to present “Developing and Championing Cultural Business Districts,” a workshop for local stakeholders about the steps for developing a district that represents the breadth of cultural identities present in the area and their histories

Vote for Union Street here.

Salt Lake City, Utah - New Hope Community Center

SLC.pngPhotography by Craig Hensel, @thecraighensel

UM/MSA Relationship: Since 2017, the UrbanMain team has been working with the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development to implement two UrbanMain projects in SLC’s Granary and State Street districts.

Vote for New Hope Community Center here.

Pontiac, Michigan - GM Modern Housing Legacy Homes

Photography by Brema, @optic.legacy

UM/MSA Work: Working with Main Street Pontiac and Main Street Oakland County, Director of Urban Programs Dionne Baux developed Transformation Strategies, combining the community's input on their goals for the district with market analysis identifying opportunities for growth and positioning.

Vote for GM Modern Housing Legacy Homes here.

Each of the 20 communities in Partners in Preservation: Main Streets are planning exciting events and activities for Open House Weekend, which is scheduled to take place October 20-21Participating communities across the country will be hosting events to engage the public in the campaign and showcase their projects. Check out the details here and don’t forget to #VoteYourMainStreet!

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