Main Street Guides

A Blueprint for Your Work

The Main Street Approach™ is a proven comprehensive method for sustaining, enhancing, and revitalizing historic downtowns and traditional neighborhood commercial districts. The success of the Main Street Approach™ is based on fully integrating four points (Outreach, Design, Promotion, and Economic Vitality) into a practical downtown management strategy. Developing such a strategy takes a knowledgeable team of diverse individuals working together on their downtown and the best way to work together as a team is to use the same playbook. Washington Main Street‘s four Main Street Guides detailed on this page provide fundamental information on the Main Street Approach™ and a common language and blueprint for your work.

The four guides are written for distinct audiences, but also reference and build off of each other:

  • The About Main Street Guide is written for anyone wanting to know more about the Main Street Approach™ and how Main Street organizations serve their communities.
  • The Starting a Main Street Guide is written for people who are new to Main Street as a framework for downtown revitalization and considering starting a Main Street organization.
  • The Executive Leadership Guide is written for executive leaders and staff. It is also a resource for board members to understand a nonprofit executive director’s role and their relationship to boards.
  • The Board Leadership Guide is written for Main Street board members and the staff with whom they work.

As you read through the guides below, you’ll find references to additional resources so your community doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel in working toward downtown revitalization. This collection is available in our Resource Library.

Special Topic Guides

Our special topic Main Street Guides and “In a Nutshell” series are a fantastic supplement to the Main Street guides above, diving deeper into best practices and tools you can utilize in your downtown.

Click on cover image to download a PDF of each guide.