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Main Street Texarkana Begins Membership Campaign

Main Street Texarkana
Main Street Texarkana

Main Street Texarkana has begun its 2016 Investor Membership Campaign.

As an Investor of Main Street Texarkana, through a membership, donors help support the local program with projects and programs that promote the revitalization and tourism of historic downtown Texarkana, said Ina McDowell, executive director of Main Street Texarkana. Main Street Texarkana formed more than 10 years ago, and is one of only two bi-state Main Street programs in the United States, benefiting from the expertise of Main Street Texas and Main Street Arkansas.

Main Street Texarkana uses the 4-Point Approach (Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Vitality) created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for use by all Main Street programs in the United States.  This simple approach was created 35 years ago, and works as a guide for economic development in downtown areas using existing structures and their unique architectural design. Technical services for design, promotion, and business development are among the free services provided by Main Street Texarkana.

“It is a way of preserving our early Texarkana history, while allowing for progress to meet the economic needs of the community today,” said McDowell.

Main Street Texarkana was recently accredited by both Main Street Texas and Main Street Arkansas for its progress and implementation of the national program’s guidelines.  It was also recognized with a 2016 Excellence Award from Main Street Arkansas, titled Best Placemaking Project, for its inception of the Better Block event.

Downtown revitalization benefits the entire community and much has been accomplished recently in our downtown.  2016 is going to be an exciting year with the continued joint efforts of both cities of Texarkana.  We have a wonderful downtown with many opportunities for new businesses, living, beautification, and continued success for our current businesses.  Our downtown is unique because of the state line, but it also holds many fascinating stories related to early businesses, music legends, and beautiful historic architecture, she said.

The downtown State Line Post Office/Federal Courthouse remains one of the most popular tourist stops with visitors able to stand in two states.  It is said to be the second most photographed courthouse in the country behind the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C.  There is much still to “reveal” about our community’s history and Main Street Texarkana works to preserve and promote our history while providing economic development and attractions for tourism, McDowell said.

Main Street Texarkana presents the annual Main Street Christmas Parade in downtown Texarkana, publishes the Texarkana City Guide, designs and sells historic landmark medallions, and participates in numerous events and community efforts that drive the revitalization and tourism of our unique downtown, McDowell said.

It is also planning the 2nd Dine on the Line event on October 1, 2016.

“This is a great event promoting our unique position on the State Line of two states. Current board president, Lee Medley, developed this idea and it was a tremendous success last fall. We are excited about the event again this year, with several new activities to ‘toast’ and celebrate the two states,” McDowell added.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation began the Main Street program with a pilot program to save historic commercial architecture. Main Street Texas was one of the first to become a state program in 1981. Main Street Arkansas joined the program 1984. The National Main Street Program recently was reorganized to become its own subsidiary, The National Main Street Center.

Main Street programs across the country have generated $61.7 billion in investments, rehabilitation of over 250,000 buildings and more than 530,000 jobs since the beginning.  Studies show a $26.52:1 return on investment. There are more than 2,000 communities that are Main Street communities in the United States.

Main Street Texarkana Investor Membership levels begin at any donation amount.  Supporters receive an electronic newsletter every two months with updates on events and projects in downtown. For more information on support of Main Street Texarkana, call Ina McDowell, executive director, at 903-792-7191 or email, mainstreet@texarkana.org.  Membership information is also available at its website.

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