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November 18th, 2011
San Marcos Main Street Program commended

Left to right, front: Sunny Sappington, Bob Sappington, Barb Payne, and Terry Colley, deputy executive director of the Texas Historical Commission. Back row, left to right: Debra Farst, Texas Main Street Director, Kelly Franks, Suzanne Bose, and Gaylord Bose. PHOTO via CITY OF SAN MARCOS


The City of San Marcos has been commended for its successful annual progress as a designated “main street community.”

The Texas Historical Commission and its Texas Main Street Program made the announcement recently at the annual statewide downtown revitalization conference co-hosted by the TMSP and the Texas Downtown Association.

The San Marcos Main Street Program was one of 55 cities recognized for meeting strict national performance criteria. In addition, San Marcos was one of only four Texas cities honored for receiving the recognition every year since 1999 when the national recognition program began.

“Throughout 2011 we have been celebrating the Texas Main Street Program’s 30 years of progress, having taken our first designated cities in 1981,” said Debra Farst, TMSP state coordinator. “Recognizing these cities for their efforts in revitalizing their historic downtowns takes on special meaning this year. The programs being acknowledged are large and small from all areas of the state, showing that the main street model is appropriate for all kinds of communities with historic downtowns.”

Since San Marcos became a main street city, nearly $57.5 million in private and public sector investments have been made in downtown San Marcos.

San Marcos received official main street designation from the Texas Historical Commission in 1986, after starting the program in 1984 as a self-initiated project.

The San Marcos Main Street Program follows the guidelines of the Texas Main Street Center and National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Main Street is a development program designed to capitalize on the unique character of the downtown commercial district. Programs and projects are developed to address the needs of downtown San Marcos. Main Street’s success is based on a comprehensive strategy of work, tailored to local needs and opportunities, in four broad areas, including organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring.

The local program is guided by the Main Street Advisory Board and staffed by Kelly Franks, Main Street Manager, and Barbara Payne, Program Assistant.

Nationally-accredited main street cities show above average performance in ten categories on an annual report. Selection criteria focus on planning, partnerships, staffing, volunteer effort, preservation ethic, training and program assessment through reporting.

For additional information about the national main street effort, visit the National Trust Main Street web site at For more information on the Texas Historical Commission’s Main Street program visit The San Marcos Main Street Program’s online information is available at

The THC’s Texas Main Street Program is a revitalization program for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. It is based on a four-point approach, namely, organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring, all within the context of historic preservation. Implemented in 1981, the program has served approximately 165 communities throughout the state. For more information, contact Debra Farst at 512/463-5758.

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