- What is Main Street?
The National Main Street Center was established as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 as a way to address the myriad issues facing older and historic downtowns during that time. Working with a nationwide network of coordinating programs and local communities, Main Street has helped over 2,000 communities across the country bring economic vitality back downtown, while celebrating their historic character, and bringing communities together.
In 1985, the Iowa Legislature adopted Main Street America’s Main Street Approach model, establishing Main Street Iowa (MSI) as a program of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Today, MSI is recognized as one of the most successful state Main Street programs in the nation.
In 1989, a group of ACEDC leaders heard about the new MSI program that was helping older and historic downtowns in metro areas to revitalize their downtown areas. They met with State Main Street leaders and pitched the idea that Main Street programs could help rural communities revitalize and energize their downtown, too. In 1990, ACEDC with City of Corning support filed for a dba (doing business as) and created Main Street Corning as one of the first rural Main Street Communities in the nation.
Main Street Corning is a volunteer-driven program. In 1996, Main Street Corning won the Spirit of Main Street Iowa award and in 1998, Corning became one of the nations Great American Main Streets.