Main Street Maryland Program

​​​​Main Street Maryland is a comprehensive downtown revitalization program created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

The program strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. Designated Main Street Maryland communities have made a commitment to improve the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts. To accomplish Main Street goals, the department has partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center, which developed the Main Street Approach for community-driven, comprehensive revitalization.

Main Street Maryland emphasizes the importance of working simultaneously in the following areas:

  • DESIGN: Enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning
  • ORGANIZATION: Building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process
  • PROMOTION: Marketing the traditional commercial district's assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens and visitors
  • ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING: Strengthening the district's existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities and challenges from outlying development
  • CLEAN, SAFE, and GREEN: Enhancing the perception o f a neighborhood through the principles of Smart Growth and sustainability

Main Street Resources

The Main Street Maryland Program offers official designation as a state recognized Main Street, as well as technical assistance, training, and other services to communities across the State.

These services include:

  • Main Street Manager orientation and professional development
  • Site visits to help the community develop and plan for the future
  • Architectural design and historic preservation assistance
  • Specialized training on topics specific to commercial revitalization
  • Education about State and Federal programs, grants, and loans
  • Facilitate partnerships for designated Main Street communities and other business districts

Eligibility Criteria

Maryland communities meeting the following criteria may apply for designation as a state recognized Main Street:

  • A minimum population of 1,000 based on the most recent U.S. Census survey
  • Commitment to employ a program manager
  • Commitment to organize and maintain a volunteer board of directors/advisory committee and committees made up of public and private sector individuals
  • Commitment to provide a sustainable program budget
  • Must be a Sustainable Community approved by the State of Maryland
  • Must have a defined, walkable central business district with a significant number of historic commercial buildings.

Visit a Main Street Maryland Community

From Oakland to Ocean City, the state’s designated Main Street Maryland communities define what is unique about Maryland.

Explore. Experience. Enjoy!Main Street Maryland

More Information

CONTACT: Christine McPherson, Program Officer
P: 410-209-5802