What makes main street?: A study of the main street programs in Plainview, Post, and Littlefield, Texas
Macik, Gregory Scott
The south plains of west Texas is home to three towns that are involved in a program to help revhalize downtowns, both archhecturally and financially. Through the process of using history and economics, the National Trust developed a program potentially able to assist small towns of less than 50,000 residents. The program is called the Main Street Program (MSP). Using the Main Street Program as a focus, a thesis will be developed which uses three Main Street towns on the South Plains as the vehicle to discover what elements make the MSP successful in the region. The combination of economics and preservation techniques in these three small towns is the bases for a thesis examining the South Plains Main Street Programs. The South Plains provides a plethora of small towns possessing the qualities required for a Main Street town; yet only three of its towns have been selected to actively participate in the program— Plainview, Littlefield, and Post, Texas. The three towns were chosen because each individually represents one of three stages in the Main Street town progression. Post is the success story having been in the Program for seven years. Plainview shows failure and potential success by implementing the program during the 1980's, dropping out and then reentering in 1993. Finally, Littlefield is the newcomer by being selected in 1993 as a Main Street town. Each town provides an example of how the Main Street Program works at the various levels of progression. The Main Street Program is a comprehensive plan which requires a thorough understanding of each and every aspect of a participating town for potential success. To understand the potential for success and failure in a Main Street town, one needs to understand the actual composition ofthe program. On the surface, the program consists of techniques and advice given to the participating towns. In actuality, each town needs to be treated individually and evaluated according to its unique history kept. By using three towns as examples, this thesis will define the Main Street Program while illustrating what aspects of a town are directly affected by the Main Street Program. Small town atmosphere, community, town planning, commercial architecture and the region itself are each affected by strategies that the MSP introduces into the region. Therefore each aspect of the MSP needs to be carefully examined.