Guest Column

What is Main Street?

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What is Main Street? That is a question I have heard many times. 

Well, look around Mineola because the people in this town are Main Street. They are the visionaries, the dreamers, the workers, the investors, the builders and the leaders. Many people here have played a vital role helping the program reach the 30-year mark. Our 30-year celebration was for these people.  

As a result of their contributions, our Main Street District boasts retail, residential, restaurants, recreational, educational and services. The promotions, programs and events have steadily attracted visitors and delighted residents, all of which factor in to economic development. 

Building owners and occupants strive to rehabilitate their buildings, and Main Street’s programs support them. For instance, the Main Street Board volunteers are already planning next spring’s wine train. They are working on resurrecting the wayfinding sign program and are also looking at doing more murals, inventorying our downtown property and supporting building rehabilitation.

The Museum Board supports the award-winning Mineola Historical Museum, as well as programs that enhance quality of life here. There are plans for additions to the museum, including renovations to signs that once hung on buildings of well-loved Mineola businesses, and a brand new dental office exhibit donated by sons of Dr. John Scott. 

Our Landmark Commission is operating Iron Horse Square, which has provided over 5,000 rides in less than a year that it has been open. A walking trail that will partially follow the path of the old Katy Railroad is in the works, as well as a mini depot, a replica of a historic railroad structure (an interlocking tower), and even a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks.

As our way of saying thank you to the waves of supporters in our past, Main Street (volunteers, staff and supporters) will continue to preserve the place where many peoples’ happy memories were made and to provide opportunities to create more memories. Main Street is about historic preservation and economic revitalization.

While we still have a long way to go, if you’ve ever seen how busy our downtown is on a Saturday afternoon and if you remember the town of Mineola before Main Street, you know it’s working. 

(Editor’s note: This column was revised from remarks Newman made at the 30th anniversary celebration on Oct. 15)

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