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This site provides support for the Office of the Lt Governor. For updated info on the Governor, use Governor.illinois.gov.

What is Illinois Main Street?

Illinois Main Street is a comprehensive community revitalization program that promotes historic preservation and economic development of the state's traditional business districts.

Illinois Main Street provides training and technical assistance to participating communities. Illinois Main Street is based on a model developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Illinois Main Street helps communities define their own vision and works with them to make that vision a reality. Local staff, businesses and volunteers provide grassroots leadership, raise money and spearhead revitalization activities.

Lt. Governor Pat Quinn with Orion Main Street Representatives

The Main Street Four Point Approach is

  1. Organization- Developing and sustaining an effective downtown management organization.
  2. Design - Improving the appearance of the downtown buildings and streetscape through historic preservation.
  3. Promotion - Marketing the district's unique assets to bring people downtown.
  4. Economic Restructuring - Improving the downtown's economic base by assisting and recruiting businesses and finding new uses for underused space.

Presently, Illinois has 69 active Main Street communities, growing from 9 when the program began in 1993. Since it's inception, designated communities have reported net gains of more than 1,500 new downtown businesses, and created 3,200 full-time jobs and 2,400 part-time jobs. Main Streets have spurred more than $123 million in public improvements and more than $411 million in private reinvestments in their downtowns.

Illinois Main Street is overseen by a Advisory Council chaired by Lt. Governor Pat Quinn. You can read biographies of the Advisory Council members here. All Advisory Council meetings are open to the public. Find meeting agendas and minutes here.

To learn more about the Illinois Main Street program e-mail: Wendy.Bell@illinois.gov or call 217/782-5990.