Our design programs benefit the community, property owners, and businesses

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Emporia Main Street's DESIGN programs are run by a committee of volunteers along with Main Street staff. The goal of our design initiatives is to create a vibrant downtown commercial district by enhancing the district's physical and visual assets.

Our design programs work to improve downtown buildings, parking areas, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping. Our design programs also help individual business owners with building design, window display implementation, education, and advice. All design activities are focused on making downtown a welcoming place for residents and visitors, and a place for businesses to thrive.

Additionally, the Design Committee works to preserve the legacy and stories of the Downtown Historic District through a variety of historic preservation activities.

Design Programs


Emporia's downtown gardens are all maintained by volunteers. If you love to garden, ask us how you can adopt one!

Historic Tax Credits

If you own property within Downtown Historic District, you may qualify for tax credits on maintenance, upgrades or redevelopment.

Veterans Banners

We honor our heroes every fall with a downtown display of over 200 light pole banners featuring area veterans.

Beyond the Banners

Beyond the Banners is a keepsake book that was created in response to the overwhelming popularity of our Veterans Banner Project.

Other Design Committe Projects

Historic Preservation
Downtown Clean-ups
Holiday decorating
Beautification projects
Design awards

Want to support a vibrant downtown atmosphere?

Our design programs seek to create a pleasant, welcoming environment downtown, which draws shoppers, residents, and visitors. This ultimately benefits not just downtown, but our community as a whole.

Design Committee Volunteers

Yvonne Pool


Becky Smith
Twin Rivers Winery & City Commissioner

Stacy Hammond
Coffelt Signs

Sally Sanchez
Hispanics of Today and Tomorrow

Aansu Trelc


Interested in joining the Design Committee?

The Design Committee perfect for creative types who are willing to their hands dirty, as well those who are interested in or knowledgable about Emporia's history. Click the button below if you'd like to join!

Design Education

4th Quarter Checkup

By Casey Woods | November 16, 2017

It’s that magical time of year!  Weather starts cooling down, people start thinking about holidays and businesses start promoting themselves to seasonal shoppers.  As you enter the 4th Quarter (October, November, and December) it is important to do a “check” of several items relating to your business that enable you to emphasize your brand.  Whether…

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Form Over Function

By Casey Woods | November 2, 2017

Economies change quickly, and some of our purpose built structures (gas stations, banks, video stores) have a difficult time withstanding adaptations in consumer fads.  Housing is changing, and entire blocks can suffer when a design that is inconsistent with the architecture in the immediate area is introduced.  While modern zoning and codes are based on…

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Spruce up Tuesday

By Casey Woods | October 27, 2017

1.  Walk around the envelope of your building. The whole building…  Front, back, (if you are on a corner or adjacent to a breezeway) side and look at your building from a basic cleanliness standpoint.  Paint what needs painted, clean what needs cleaned, design your windows in a fashion that highlights your business.  Trash (including the…

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Honoring Our Veterans – Beyond the Banners

By Casey Woods | October 17, 2017

Emporia is the Founding City of Veterans Day. Our community holds many activities throughout the year to help support and honor those who have served. In 2014, Emporia Main Street adopted the Veterans Banner Project, an initiative that helps raise funds for local Veterans Program as well as offering a new way to celebrate those…

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A New Development Downtown

By Casey Woods | July 6, 2017

Emporia Downtown Redevelopment Group, LLC announced a major new addition to downtown Emporia.  The Roosevelt Plaza & Lofts & Legacy Lofts, a new mixed use development containing forty-seven residential units and 2,700 square feet of commercial space will locate on the northeast corner of 11th Avenue and Commercial Street. Cory Haag, the managing partner of the…

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Your answer to an important question

By Casey Woods | June 1, 2017

Last week, we asked you a question: “what type of city would you like to live in?”  To contextualize the question, we gave you four different options that we classified as W, O, R and S types of cities.  Before we get into your selection, and what that selection means for Emporia, take a chance…

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