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PreservINg Main Street

  • OCRA
  • Current: PreservINg Main Street

Catalyzed by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs in partnership with Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Humanities, PreservINg Main Street is a multi-faceted community development program designed to build a sustainable historic preservation community ethic, build local capacity for local Main Street programs, and serve as a comprehensive downtown revitalization model. This program will provide eligible Indiana Main Street communities with an additional “tool” in their economic vitality toolbox that will help stimulate local economies using an innovative funding mechanism to preserve downtown historic buildings. The selected pilot community will be eligible for implementation of downtown preservation projects and operational expenses up to $2 million through OCRA’s Community Development Block Grant program. The program also includes multiple capacity and leadership-building opportunities through a partnership with Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks.

Current Outcomes

In 2021 two communities were awarded as part of the Pilot Program and have been working through the process.

Here are some of their successes:


  • Raised 110% of their match.
  • Historic Preservation Commission was created.
  • Created 12 narratives that are part of their "Walk Through Brookville History" series.
  • Have hosted six education classes related to Historic Preservation.
  • Became a Nationally Accredited Main Street in 2023.


  • Raised 217% of their match.
  • Historic preservation ordinance and commission was passed.
  • City hired a code enforcement officer to focus on blight.
  • 21-23 window clings were added to the downtown that highlighted prominent individuals in Kendallville's history.
  • Became a Nationally Accredited Main Street in 2023.
  • Program Overview PreservINg Main Street

Program Overview

All potential applicants should watch the program webinar for more detailed information about each of the program elements. Download the Program Overview here.

To see the full two-year program timeline, click here.

Eligible Communities

  • Must have an already listed National Register downtown historic district; and
  • Must be located in a non-entitlement community; and
  • A Nationally Accredited (NAMS) or Indiana Accredited (IAMS) Main Street organization, in good standing with OCRA. Aspiring IAMS are not eligible to apply.
  • Required partners, as evidenced through partnership letters submitted in the application:
    • Local Unit of Government (LUG)
    • IMS organization
    • Local community foundation
    • Business/building owners

What can be funded?

CDBG funds may be used for the rehabilitation, preservation, or restoration of historic properties, whether publicly or privately owned. For this program, historic properties are those sites or structures that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Historic preservation, however, is not authorized for buildings for the general conduct of government (i.e. City Hall, County Courthouse, Jail, etc). Due to staff capacity constraints, please note that OCRA staff will provide CDBG technical assistance to the community after it is selected on project-specific items.

Funding Note:

This program is funded through the State’s CDBG allocation. The community will need to secure a certified Grant Administrator before the kickoff meeting. Ideally, a grant administrator should be engaged with the applicant prior to the site visit. CDBG funds will be awarded directly to the chosen pilot community’s local unit of government. This program will count against the community’s number of open CDBG grants.

Application Timeline and Instructions

The next round of PreservINg Main Street applications will reopen in 2025.

The Indiana Main Street organization will submit an application through GMS by the deadline. The application submission must also include the following attachments:

  • Project and committee teams with contact information (to learn more about the required teams click here).
  • Resolution from the Local Unit of Government indicating they will pay for the project planning or update the current plan if over five years old.
  • Letter from the Clerk-Treasurer indicating which account LUG match funds will be used for this program.
  • Resolution from the Main Street board of directors saying they will raise $200,000 in two years.
  • Current city/town ordinances that relate to the Main Street district.
  • Detailed map of the Map of Main Street district
  • Proposed project photos with location map.
  • National register of historic places documentation
  • Eight to 10 letters of support from proposed building owners
  • Main street district Current Building Inventory

Learn more about the program

Applicants are encouraged to initially contact their respective community liaison to discuss the project, or you may connect with the OCRA program director, Andrea Kern, to discuss project eligibility and competitiveness.

Useful Links: