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The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has designated Hamilton and Mineral Wells as incoming 2020 official Texas Main Street communities. The selection was made October 4, 2019 at the THC’s quarterly commission meeting in Brownsville, Texas.
The THC’s Texas Main Street Program is an almost 40-year-old revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. It is part of a nationwide preservation-based economic development effort. Mineral Wells and Hamilton officially enter the program January 1, bringing the number of fully designated Main Street communities in Texas to 90. With a current estimated population of approximately 3,200 Hamilton joins 18 other Texas communities under 5,000 that maintain Main Street designations. Mineral Wells, population 15,341 joins a similar peer group of mid-size communities in the program. Communities in any population category are eligible to apply for Main Street designation.
The Main Street Program stimulates private sector downtown reinvestment in historic downtowns, and helps retain, expand, and recruit small businesses, while also creating new jobs in Texas. The THC’s Texas Main Street Program accepted its initial programs in 1981 as one of the first state coordinating programs in the U.S. Since then, 179 Texas communities have participated in the program. Participating communities have generated more than $4.4 billion in overall reinvestment into their historic downtowns, and created almost 42,000 jobs and more than 10,000 small businesses.
Every year, the THC may select up to five Texas cities for official Main Street designation. Local Main Street programs receive a wide range of services and technical expertise from the THC including design and historic preservation, planning, economic development, organizational management, and training. The Texas program is affiliated with the National Main Street Center/Main Street America™, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Main Street model is based on a Four-Point Approach™ of preservation-based revitalization for historic downtowns.