In 2013, Cuero was re-designated as a Main Street, after its original certification from 1985-90. Cuero’s Main Street organization is a department of the City of Cuero and focuses on the revitalization of downtown through marketing, promotions, events and historic preservation, and is governed under the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Main Street Locally Designated Program. Like the state itself, the currently designated 89 communities that participate in the Texas Main Street network are diverse in many ways. They range from some of the very smallest communities in to urban areas and they are spread all across the state. Together, more than 2.5 million Texans live in these Main Street communities and Cuero is proud to be one of them. The diversity of Texas Main Street Program participants provides evidence that the Four Point model used nationwide by designated programs for more than 30 years can work for any community with a historic downtown.
Organization: Organization establishes consensus and cooperation by building partnerships among the various groups that have a stake in the commercial district. The most effective Main Street programs get everyone working toward the same goal. With this level of collaboration, your Main Street program can provide effective, ongoing management and advocacy for your downtown or neighborhood business district. Through volunteer recruitment and collaboration with partners representing a broad cross section of the community, your program can incorporate a wide range of perspectives into its efforts. A governing board of directors and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of volunteer-driven revitalization programs. Volunteers are coordinated and supported by a paid program director. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.
Promotion: Promotion takes many forms, but the goal is to create a positive image that will renew community pride and tell your Main Street story to the surrounding region. The techniques we teach, and the variety of tools at your disposal, will help to rekindle the vitality of your community. Promotions communicate your commercial district’s unique characteristics, its cultural traditions, architecture, and history and activities to shoppers, investors, potential business and property owners, and visitors.
Design: Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape and creating a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors while preserving a place’s historic character. Successful Main Streets take advantage of the visual opportunities inherent in a commercial district by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials. An appealing atmosphere, created through attention to all of these visual elements, conveys a positive message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Popular design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the district’s physical appearance through the rehabilitation of historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, educating business and property owners about design quality, and long-term planning.
Economic Restructuring: Through economic restructuring, we can show you how to strengthen your community’s existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base. Successful communities accomplish this by evaluating how to retain and expand successful businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix, sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of business owners, and attracting new businesses that the market can support. Many Main Street programs also achieve success through creative reuse of historic properties. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district. The goal is to build a commercial district that responds to the needs of today’s consumers while maintaining the community’s historic character.
It is truly the power of the residents, all working together for this common ideal of a revitalized historic downtown that makes the program work. Volunteerism truly is the backbone of the Main Street effort and we encourage all to become involved in your local organizations and help make your downtown something of which the whole community can be proud!