New Addition to Main Street Arkansas
Main Street Arkansas, a program within the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program (AHPP), is pleased to announce the addition of Fort Smith to its roster of Main Street communities across Arkansas, bringing the total to 21.
Fort Smith’s Main Street goes by the unique name 64.6 Downtown, which represents the number of square miles (at the time) within the city limits. Executive Director Talicia Richardson expresses 64.6 Downtown’s excitement in becoming part of Main Street Arkansas. “We are elated to have the opportunity to move from an Arkansas Downtown Network program to a designated Main Street Arkansas program,” says Richardson. “64.6 Downtown will continue to utilize the skills and resources of the Main Street Arkansas team, as we execute the four-point approach.”
Fort Smith has been part of Main Street as a Downtown Network Community since 2015, and worked towards the goals of becoming a Main Street program, which means plugging into the four-point approach as set forth by the National Main Street: economic vitality, design, promotion, and organization.
64.6 Downtown joins the following Main Street communities: Argenta Arts District in North Little Rock, Main Street Batesville, Main Street Blytheville, Downtown Conway, Main Street Dumas, Main Street El Dorado, Main Street Eureka Springs, Main Street Helena, Main Street Jonesboro, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, SoMa 501 (South Main Little Rock) Main Street Osceola, Main Street Ozark, Main Street Paragould, Pine Bluff Downtown Development Inc, Main Street Russellville, Main Street Searcy, Main Street Siloam Springs, Main Street Texarkana, and Main Street West Memphis.
“Our Main Street communities across Arkansas continue to produce impressive results,” says Stacy Hurst, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism and the State’s Historic Preservation Officer. “By utilizing historic and cultural resources, our Main Street communities are creating authentic districts and corridors that residents and visitors enjoy. Downtowns are thriving because of the commitment these communities have made to the values of Main Street Arkansas.”
Main Street Arkansas was established in 1984 to help spark life into Arkansas’s traditionally commercial areas. They work with community members committed to revitalizing and preserving downtowns across our state. At the state level, Main Street Arkansas offers consultation services to program participants such as interior and exterior design help, small business advice, and grant opportunities.
“Our Main Street team is frequently on the road speaking with local organizations or visiting one on one with businesses or developers interested in putting a downtown property to work for their community,” explains Scott Kaufman, director of AHPP. “The qualifications for joining Main Street may be rigorous, but they have proven results for our communities.”
Greg Phillips is the director of Main Street Arkansas and welcomes Fort Smith into the fold, “We’ve been very impressed with 64.6 Downtown’s approach to revitalization and look forward to having them as an official Main Street community.”
AHPP is the division of Arkansas Heritage responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other divisions are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives. Arkansas Heritage is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.