Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Committee Chair/Advisor

Stiefel, Barry

Committee Member

Leifeste, Amalia

Committee Member

Hudgins, Carter L


This study examines the organizational structure of the Kentucky Main Street Program (KYMS), the Nation's first statewide Main Street program, and its impact on Kentucky's Main Street communities. Since its inception, KYMS has modified its program in response to changes in Kentucky's economic situation and communities' needs. These changes include expanding the program to smaller communities, adjusting the provision of technical services, and offering grants for manager's salaries and projects. KYMS and National Main Street Center (NMSC) evaluations have focused on performance during one- or two-year program cycles. Changes in structure and availability of services, however, have not been compared with KYMS's annual performance measures, which the program refers to as reinvestment statistics. Examination of the program's reinvestment statistics revealed correlations between the total reinvestment in Main Street communities and changes in the program's structure and funding. They also revealed minor changes in the average reinvestment per community. This illustrates that while increased funding grew the program by attracting more communities to participate, funding did not drastically affect the reinvestment of each community. A qualitative survey accompanies this quantitative assessment. The survey sought to balance information gleaned from reinvestment statistics with opinions gathered from Main Street participants. The results varied with some praise and some discontent toward the past and current programs. Despite changes in opinion and organizational structure, the KYMS program is still well established in Kentucky. Determining the impact of past changes to KYMS's structure is important in guiding its future, justifying additional funding and determining how it will best serve its Main Street communities.



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