Victoria receives full Main Street city designation


Oct. 28, 2011 at 5:28 a.m.

The wait is over for those on the Victoria Main Street Program board.

The Texas Historical Commission on Thursday designated Victoria a full-fledged Texas Main Street city.

The Main Street Program is a revitalization effort for historic downtown and neighborhood commercial districts, according to a historical commission news release.

Louise Hull Patillo, president of the Victoria Main Street board, said she was proud to learn the news. Discussions took place as many as 20 years ago about possibly joining the program, she said. The year and-a-half or so that it took to get the process under way and approved was incremental.

"Many people worked to make that happen," she said. "It's very exciting to see it come to pass."

The historical commission granted Victoria provisional status in October 2010, noting at the time that Victoria needed nonprofit status, a manager and definite program funding in place before full status could be considered.

Although the organization fulfilled the requirements, it met another hurdle when the Texas state budget specified no new communities would become part of the program, said Mike Sigg, director of the Victoria Main Street Program.

"We were a little bit more than concerned with that," he said.

Representative Geanie Morrison, however, sponsored an amendment allowing any provisional communities - of which Victoria was the only one - to continue the process.

Through the program, each city involved receives free technical and design assistance and training from the Main Street Program staff, according to the news release. Plans are based on a Four-Point approach of organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring, all within the context of historic preservation.

Eight-five Texas communities participate.

The Texas Main Street Program is among the historical commission's most successful and recognized programs, commission chairman Jon Hansen said in the news release.

"We have seen tremendous accomplishments in both large and small Main Street communities in the past 30 years and believe Victoria will be a welcome addition to this flagship program."

Sigg said he looked forward to what the future holds.

"As we always say, we believe the downtown is the heart of a community," he said. "The heart and soul. We look forward to working with volunteers, stakeholders and residents to make it even better."



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