Downtown Bartlesville, Inc., formed October, 2010, has adopted the Main Street Approach and each of the four points is represented in our committees that plan and implement our annual program of work.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach™ is a comprehensive strategy that is tailored to meet local needs and opportunities. It encompasses work in four distinct areas — Design, Economic Restructuring, Promotion, and Organization — that are combined to address all of the commercial district's needs. The philosophy and the Eight Guiding Principles behind this methodology make it an effective tool for community-based, grassroots revitalization efforts. The Main Street approach has been successful in communities of all sizes, both rural and urban.
The Main Street Four-Point Approach™ is a community-driven, comprehensive methodology used to revitalize older, traditional business districts throughout the United States. It is a common-sense way to address the variety of issues and problems that face traditional business districts. The underlying premise of the Main Street approach is to encourage economic development within the context of historic preservation in ways appropriate to today's marketplace. The Main Street Approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets: distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.
The National Trust Main Street Center's experience in helping communities bring their downtowns back to life has shown time and time again that the Main Street Four-Point Approach succeeds. That success is guided by the following eight principles, which set the Main Street methodology apart from other redevelopment strategies. For a Main Street program to be successful, it must whole-heartedly embrace the following time-tested Eight Principles.
Comprehensive: No single focus — lavish public improvements, name-brand business recruitment, or endless promotional events — can revitalize downtown. For successful, sustainable, long-term revitalization, a comprehensive approach, including activity in each of Main Street's Four Points, is essential.
Incremental: Baby steps come before walking. Successful revitalization programs begin with basic, simple activities that demonstrate that 'new things are happening ' in the commercial district. As public confidence in the downtown grows and participants' understanding of the revitalization process becomes more sophisticated, Main Street McMinnville is able to tackle increasingly complex problems and more ambitious projects. This incremental change leads to much longer-lasting and dramatic positive change in the downtown area.
Self-help: No one else will save our downtown. Local leaders must have the will and desire to mobilize local resources and talent. That means convincing residents and business owners of the rewards they'll reap by investing time and money in downtown— the heart of our community. Only local leadership can produce long-term success by fostering and demonstrating community involvement and commitment to the revitalization effort.
Partnerships: Both the public and private sectors have a vital interest in the downtown and must work together to achieve common goals of downtown's revitalization. Each sector has a role to play and each must understand the other's strengths and limitations in order to forge an effective partnership.
Identifying and capitalizing on existing assets: Downtown must capitalize on the assets that make it unique. Just like other downtowns, we have unique qualities like distinctive buildings and human scale that give people a sense of belonging. These local assets must serve as the foundation for all aspects of our revitalization program.
Quality: Emphasize quality in every aspect of the revitalization program. This applies to all elements of the process — from storefront designs to promotional campaigns to educational programs. Shoestring budgets and 'cut and paste' efforts reinforce a negative image of the downtown district. Instead, concentrate on quality projects over quantity.
Change: Skeptics turn into believers and attitudes on downtown will turn around. At first, almost no one believes downtown can really turn around. Changes in attitude and practice are slow but definite — public support for change will build as the Main Street program grows and consistently meets its goals. Change also means engaging in better business practices, altering ways of thinking, and improving the physical appearance of the downtown. A carefully planned Main Street program will help shift public perceptions and practices to support and sustain the revitalization process.
Implementation: To succeed, Main Street must show visible results that can only come from completing projects. Frequent, visible changes are a reminder that the revitalization effort is under way and succeeding. Small projects at the beginning of the program pave the way for larger ones as the revitalization effort matures, and that constant revitalization activity creates confidence in the Main Street program and ever-greater levels of participation.
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Chris Wilson, Executive Director
Downtown Bartlesville, Inc.
401 S. Dewey Avenue, Suite 812
Bartlesville, OK 74003
Board of Directors
Mark Haskell, Chairman
Dean Robertson, Vice Chairman
Elizabeth Welch, Treasurer
Christie Johnson, Secretary