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Book details
  • Genre:ARCHITECTURE
  • SubGenre:Urban & Land Use Planning
  • Language:English
  • Pages:112
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098357399
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098341657

Main Street's Comeback

And How It Can Come Back Again

by Mary Means

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Overview

The Main Street revitalization movement has been called the most effective economic development program in America, but it is so much more than that. Main Street's Comeback and How It Can Come Back Again tells the stories of how, over four decades, citizens, small business owners, and civic leaders in hundreds of towns and scores of city neighborhood corridors have brought life back to the heart of their communities. In offering a vision of how downtowns can emerge even stronger from the Coronavirus pandemic, Main Street's Comeback and How It Can Come Back Again could not be timelier.

Description

Main Street's Comeback and How It Can Come Back Again is the compelling story of a citizen-led movement that has brought the centers of hundreds of communities back to life again over the last four decades. Downtowns had been the heart of their communities, but by the 1970s shopping centers and suburban lifestyles were draining them of business and activity. Left behind were vacant storefronts, marginal businesses, and the proud but shabby buildings that once lined main street. Anyone who wanted to save their historic downtown had nowhere to turn for help. The National Trust for Historic Preservation envisioned a way to harness the historic character of main street that made economic sense. Forty years later, thanks to the dedication of thousands of citizens, small business owners, and civic leaders – most of them volunteers -- more than 1,600 towns and scores of city neighborhood corridors across America are thriving with life. This is the story of how the Main Street Approach came to be, how it spread across the country, and how caring citizens have brought the heart of their communities back from the brink. The book started out as a celebration of their amazing work – renovating nearly 300,000 buildings, creating 150,000 new businesses, more than 670,000 jobs, and boosting hometown pride. Main Street was healthy once again, even with Amazon. Then, came the Coronavirus pandemic shutdowns. And everything stopped. Nine months into the pandemic, the economic damage is growing and the small businesses of main street are feeling it. But downtowns are scrappy, as are the people who care about them. Main Street's Comeback and How It Can Come Back Again offers a vision of how downtowns can emerge even stronger from the Coronavirus pandemic, and it could not be more timely. Mary Means led the team that created the National Main Street Center and the "lots of little" Main Street Approach that has been widely followed by citizen leaders in towns and cities. Readable and profusely illustrated, Main Street's Comeback and How It Can Come Back Again is immensely relevant to our tumultuous times.

About the author
Mary Means is best known for leading the team that created the National Main Street Center. More than 1,600 towns and historic neighborhood corridors in 40+ states have successfully used the Main Street Approach to bring people back to their historic cores. Her small but mighty planning firm has helped communities and other public interest organizations with strategic plans that achieve strong public support. Her work has been honored by the American Planning Association with its 2018 Planning Pioneer Award, and by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with the 2020 Crowninshield Award, the highest honor in historic preservation.
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