Main Street Alabama began in 2009 and incorporated in 2010 to serve as state coordinator of the Main Street program. It follows a 30-year-old model for community revitalization that has seen great success nationwide.
A nonprofit organization, Main Street Alabama stresses public-private partnerships, broad community engagement, and strategies that create jobs, spark new investment, attract visitors, and spur growth. Main Street builds on the authentic history, culture, and attributes of specific places, to bring sustainable change.
Prior to the establishment of Main Street Alabama, the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) served as the state Main Street coordinating program, providing guidance, support, services and certification to participating communities. The AHC program existed from the 1980s until state budget cuts in 2003 - 2004 resulted in loss of Main Street staff and funding at the state level.
In early 2009, the AHC contracted with the National Main Street Center to assess need for and support for a revitalized statewide Main Street Coordinating program. The goal was to reestablish a stronger program that could match the investment and success of neighboring state Main Street programs.
As part of the 2009 assessment, a Steering Committee and a group of Partners provided guidance and direction to ensure that the rebuilt state Main Street was rooted in Alabama realities and positioned to collaborate with other programs that also assist community revitalization.