We love historic downtowns!

Enhancing the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of historic downtown business districts in Missouri.

Public and Private INVESTMENT


Net new businesses


Net New jobs


volunteer hours


Designated Missouri Main Street communities report economic impact in their districts each quarter. Cumulative totals for the program.


Four-Point Approach

The Main Street Four-Point Approach® is an approach to revitalization that was created by the
National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In 1977, the National Trust for Historic Preservation launched a downtown revitalization pilot program involving three Midwestern communities. In 1980, the National Trust created the National Main Street Center to disseminate the knowledge developed during the pilot program. Since then, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® has been extended to over 43 states and the District of Columbia. Missouri Main Street Connection, Inc. is one of the 43 state coordinating programs that operate under the authority of the National Main Street Center. The State Director is a mentor, trainer and advocate for the local Main Street® programs in their revitalization efforts that function within the context of historic preservation.

Elements of the Main Street Four Point Approach
The success of the Main Street® approach to revitalization is based on its comprehensive nature. By carefully integrating four points into a practical downtown management strategy, the local Main Street® program will produce fundamental changes in a community's economic base, while preserving its historic commercial buildings and the community's unique heritage. The goal is to create a sustainable organization that functions as the revitalization leader in the community.

Organization - involves building a governing framework that includes a diverse representation of business and property owners, bankers, citizens, historians, public officials, chambers of commerce, and other preservation organizations. Everyone must work together in a long-term effort to renew downtown and maintain its stability into the future. The organization committee also trains and develops leaders for the community's revitalization effort. Activities of a start-up Organization Committee begin with creating a not-for-profit organization, establishing priorities through comprehensive work plans, providing the organization with sustainable sources of revenue, and volunteer development.

Economic Vitality - involves analyzing current market forces to develop long-term solutions; recruiting new businesses and strengthening the existing competitiveness of the traditional merchants and service businesses, while diversifying the economic base; creatively converting unused space for new uses, and working closely with the Design Committee to seek appropriate solutions for historic commercial buildings that will ensure their continued occupancy, maintenance and preservation.


Design - enhances the visual attractiveness of downtown. This includes technical assistance and encouragement to building owners toward the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures, street and alley cleanup, colorful banners and landscaping. Attention must be paid to safe and efficient infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and the appearance of storefronts, signs, street lights, window displays and graphic materials. Design improvements should be developed through a public-private partnership by reinvestment of public and private dollars in downtown.


Promotion - projects a positive, unified image to identify downtown as a gathering place. Revitalization programs market the district and the community through a series of targeted activities such as special events and festivals, which highlight the local culture, art, music, dance and traditions that give each community its unique identity.