What is Florida Main Street?
Florida Main Street is a technical assistance program administered by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, for traditional historic commercial corridors. The Bureau conducts statewide programs aimed at identifying, evaluating, and preserving Florida’s historic resources. Main Street, with its emphasis on preservation, is an effective strategy in achieving these goals in Florida’s historic retail districts.
Why Main Streets Matter?
Since 1985, the Bureau has offered manager training, consultant team visits, design and other technical assistance, as well as the benefit of experience gained by other Florida Main Street programs.
Florida Main Street is a self-help program. The Bureau of Historic Preservation supplies technical assistance, but the credit and responsibility for success rests with the many community leaders who offer their time, expertise, and enthusiasm to revitalizing downtowns or historic commercial corridors. Florida Main Street is incremental. Using the Main Street Four Point Approach, community leader’s work together to bring about many small but positive corridor improvements. Together, these improvements revitalize historic commercial corridors.
The Florida Main Street Program is an integral part of the state’s historic preservation program. The state program and the national model on which it is based are applicable only to communities with historic resources sufficient to create a well-defined sense of place, a tangible link with the past. The Main Street revitalization process is, then, one of rediscovery rather than recreation. The Program does not deal in marketing themes (other than an honest acknowledgement of a community’s heritage) and does not engage in recreating or fabricating traditional commercial centers. Such recreation is not historic preservation.