Downtown Harlingen accredited for 14 years

For 14 years in a row, Downtown Harlingen has been accredited as a Main Street community by the National Main Street Center. Courtesy Photo

HARLINGEN — Downtown Harlingen has been accredited one more time.

For 14 years it has been recognized as a Main Street by the Accredited Main Street America program.

Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

“ We are proud to recognize this year’s 860 Nationally Accredited Main Street America programs that have dedicated themselves to strengthening their communities,” Patrice Frey, President and CEO of the National Main Street Center, said in a press release.

“ During these challenging times, these Main Street programs will be key to bringing economic vitality back to commercial districts and improving quality of life during the recovery process,” she said.

Downtown Harlingen’s performance is evaluated by Texas Main Street Program, which works in partnership with Main Street America to identify the local programs that meet performance standards.

Downtown Director Alexis Alaniz said there are four points of approaches and reports on how Downtown Harlingen is revitalizing and improving, which has to be reported.

“The Texas Main Street sent our report to the National Main Street Center. They also look on standards such as fostering strong public presence and actively preserving historic buildings,” Alaniz said.

“Every year we join the Texas Main Street program and we do board directors training and window decorating. We like to offer those different types of resources for our downtown,” she said.

Downtown Harlingen was established in 1989 to foster economic growth and redevelopment in Harlingen’s central business district. Today more than 170 businesses or organizations operate in Downtown Harlingen. Now, when entering Tyler Avenue, a Main St. community sign decorates the entrance of downtown.