MAIN STREET REPRISE
Main Street was once the heart and soul of communities all across Texas. But after we began our mass exodus to the suburbs during the second half of the 20th century we saw the collapse of a lively downtown in almost every community in the state. Merchants folded, businesses relocated, movie theaters shut down, and citizens stopped traveling downtown to work, shop, and socialize. "Won't be much to do in town with the picture show closed," Duane says to Sonny in the famous adaptation of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show. "Yeah," Sonny replies. It was a prescient exchange that echoed all over Texas. But fast-forward to the present and discover a revitalization of historic downtown Main Street occurring in communities from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle-Plains.
Unlike the generic, big-box reality of the outlying suburbs, our downtowns define who we are, where we came from, and, thanks to a renewed appreciation in our historic city centers, what we want to become as Texas communities. Visit your own downtown or one of the over 80 Texas Main Street Program cities across the state. You'll find historic buildings and town squares bustling with culture, cuisine, and commerce. A good place to spend the day or a lifetime.