Our History (est. 1995)
In 1983, then Boston City Councilor Thomas M. Menino brought the Main Street program to Boston.
In 1995, newly elected Mayor Thomas Menino challenged the National Trust for Historic Preservation to expand its National Main Street model to Boston. The result was Boston Main Streets, the first urban, multi-district Main Street program in the United States. Boston Main Streets now brings the technical knowledge of business district revitalization to Twenty Boston business districts.
This is the first intensive urban use of this highly successful model for commercial district revitalization in the nation. In May of 1995, the program's first ten communities selected in a citywide competition: Cleary Square in Hyde Park, Codman Square in Dorchester, Maverick Square in East Boston, Broadway in South Boston, Chinatown, Allston Village, Egleston Square in Jamaica Plain, Upham's Corner in Dorchester, Bowdoin Street/Geneva Avenue in Dorchester, and Dudley Square. Four districts selected in 1997, 4 more in 1999, and 2 more in 2001.
Chinatown Main Street is responsible for beautifying the districts, recruiting new businesses, retaining and strengthening existing businesses, and drawing people into the districts to shop and recreate, maintain safety and promote cleanliness of the Community.
A Proven Strategy: Using the National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street model - The Main Street Four Points Approach is a unique preservation-based economic development tool that enables communities to revitalize downtown and neighborhood business districts by leveraging local assets - from historic, cultural, and architectural resources to local enterprises and community pride. A comprehensive strategy addresses the variety of issues and problems that challenge traditional commercial districts.