Center City of Amarillo has received National Recognition from the National Main Street Center as an accredited Main Street program.
The Texas Historical Commission recommended Center City based on annual progress as a designated Main Street community. The National Main Street Center announced the recognition at the group’s annual conference in Kansas City.
Center City of Amarillo is one of 68 Main Street cities in Texas recognized this year. Other area cities recognized were Canyon, Plainview and Levelland.
The Texas Main Street Program began in 1981. Center City became a Main Street City in 2002.
“State and national recognition as a Main Street City are important because this shows that Center City meets or exceeds standards for a thriving downtown,” said Beth Duke, executive director of Center City. “Our Downtown Dining District, the Amarillo Cultural District and the Amarillo Community Market are just some of the ways we are bringing new life to downtown.
“As part of Main Street, Center City regularly reports reinvestment and historical preservation activities in downtown. Since 2007, Center City has documented $312,850,098 in funds reinvested in our historic downtown,” she said.
“These funds include private investment, public investment such as the Potter County Courthouse restoration and numerous public-private partnerships. Examples of public-private partnerships include projects that used façade grants historic tax credits or funds from the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.”
During 2017, approximately $500 million was reinvested into Texas’ 89 Main Street districts. Additionally, 388 small businesses and 2,329 jobs were created.
Center City is a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors led by President Linda Vaughn.
Main Street programs in Texas rely on community volunteers to carry out the program. In 2017, Main Street volunteers reported more than 119,178 hours of work donated in support of the program in Texas.
“The Texas Main Street Program continues to provide substantial return on investment to local communities across the state,” said Mark Wolfe, THC Executive Director.
“The state recognition and national accreditation recognizes the hard work of these local programs, and the value placed on their historic downtowns,” said Debra Drescher, TMSP state coordinator.
Selection criteria focuses on annual progress in planning, partnerships, staffing, volunteer efforts, preservation ethic, training, and program assessment through reporting.
For additional information about the national Main Street effort, visit www.mainstreet.org/home. For more information on the THC’s Texas Main Street Program, visit thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/texas-main-street. For information about Center City, go to www.centercity.org.