The Illinois Main Street program is a volunteer-driven, preservation-based, downtown revitalization program. This state program is based on the Four-Point Approach developed by the National Trust's National Main Street Center. Over 1,600 communities across the country have used this comprehensive methodology to revitalize their traditional commercial districts. IHPA is one of three coordinating program partners, together with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Participating communities provide the funds for their local programs, each of which has a paid manager. The Main Street approach, which is tailored to meet local needs and opportunities, establishes four interdependent committees comprised of local volunteers that work in the following four key areas:
 
Design: enhancing the design and appearance of downtown through historic preservation
Organization: building an effective, volunteer-driven, managed, downtown organization, guided by  
professional staff
Promotion: establishing promotion strategies that bring people to downtown
Economic Restructuring: revitalizing downtown businesses through restructuring local economies
 
Since the beginning of Illinois Main Street, IHPA architecture staff has provided design, education and training for the Illinois Main Street program. From 1993 to 2008, IHPA also provided façade, graphics and sign design renderings, free of charge to Illinois Main Street communities. The following links represent many of these efforts. To learn more about Illinois Main Street visit the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity program website.
 
 
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history of Main Street buildings