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Our History

Main Street Alabama History

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.

2009 Steering Committee

  • David Fleming, Main Street Birmingham, co-chair
  • Nisa Miranda, University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, co-chair
  • Cheryl Morgan, Auburn University Urban Studio
  • Paul Kennedy, Your Town Alabama
  • Steve Ostaseski, Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham
  • Tom Chesnutt, Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension System
  • Ellen Mertins, Alabama Historical Commission
  • Mary Shell, Alabama Historical Commission
  • Marsha Bankston, former local Main Street manager, Alexander City

2009 Partners

  • Neal Wade, Alabama Development Office
  • Bill Johnson, Alabama Department of Development and Community Affairs
  • Ron Scott, Economic Development Association of Alabama
  • Lee Sentell, Alabama Department of Tourism
  • Karen Rogers, Auburn University Architecture Department
  • Richard Dozier, Tuskegee University Architecture Department
  • Perry Roquemore, Alabama League of Municipalities
  • Bob Howard, Alabama Power
  • Phil Segraves, Mayor, Guin
  • Larry Fluker, Mayor, Evergreen
  • Sommerville Hill, Alabama Institute of Architects
  • Frank White, Alabama Historical Commission
  • Jason Fondron, KPS Group
  • Warren Hicks, Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Jack Page, Alabama House of Representatives

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