The Connecticut Main Street Program was established by the Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) in 1995. At the time, CL&P (now Eversource Energy) recognized there was no comprehensive approach to revitalizing our historic commercial districts, and they were concerned with protecting their significant investment in infrastructure in the State’s downtowns. As a result, they decided to provide the funding and internal administrative resources to establish the Connecticut Main Street Program. To this day, CL&P remains the only private corporation in the country to solely sponsor and administer a statewide Main Street initiative.
Realizing it would be necessary to gather a combination of public and private support to grow Connecticut Main Street, CL&P proposed restructuring the program. In 1999, with the support of then-Lt. Governor M. Jodi Rell, Connecticut Main Street Center (CMSC) became a private nonprofit corporation with its own board of directors. In 2000, and continuing through the present day, the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) joined CL&P as a Founding Sponsor.
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At its first Strategic Planning Retreat in 2000 the new CMSC Board developed the following vision statement: “The Connecticut Main Street Center will be recognized as the premier downtown revitalization and economic development program in the state, with a reputation for high standards of excellence and a record of developing and nurturing successful Connecticut Main Street Communities.” This vision has successfully guided CMSC over the years, leading us to become the State’s premier resource for downtown revitalization and management, providing technical information, regional cooperation, training and networking.
CMSC is a proud member of Main Street America, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We help our member communities tailor the Four Point Approach to Downtown Revitalization™, currently utilized in over 2,000 communities, to meet our members’ individual needs. Developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the program advances economic and community development within the context of historic preservation, and advocates public-private partnerships to ensure lasting success. CMSC also serves as the Statewide Coordinating Program for Main Street America.
Learn more about how we help our members across the state.