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

What type of city do you want to live in?

By Casey Woods | May 20, 2017

ommunicating business and economic strategies to the public is difficult.  In a sound bite society known for oversimplifying complex concepts, we need more effective ways to engage the public in interactive conversations about community economic priorities.  A recent conversation with an ESU Professor highlighted a conversation mechanism used in his class, and we wanted to…

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How to DK

By Casey Woods | May 13, 2017

Big events are now a “thing” in Emporia.  We have a series of international events that draw thousands of people into the community, but we need your help to keep events growing.  We also need you to do a few things to ensure that you actually make money during large events (your profitability is important…

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A New Process to Honor our Veterans

By Casey Woods | May 1, 2017

The Veterans Banner project is easily one of our favorite projects at Emporia Main Street.  Approximately 250 veterans have been honored through this process with photos collected, banners produced and biographies recorded.  It seems that every week we have a request for a banner and updates for banner sponsorship process. The banner process for Emporia…

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Spring Cleaning

By Casey Woods | February 20, 2017

In the world of consumer physical interaction with businesses, we talk about “passive” and “active” forms of interaction.  When a consumer is in “active” mode, they know the business that they are going to shop, they go directly to the business, and they conduct their transaction.  Consumers that engage in “passive” interactions are aware of…

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Honoring our History

By Casey Woods | February 10, 2017

One of the great parts about working for Emporia Main Street is the ability to compare Emporia to other communities.  Comparative analysis is often used to determine best practices for development, or common problems that towns should avoid.  If you look at Emporia’s early history, compared to other Kansas communities, it becomes abundantly clear that…

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2016 Year in Review

By Casey Woods | December 30, 2016

Emporia Main Street works with a variety of members and partners to push new initiatives and create new opportunities every year.  We appreciate everyone’s support as we work to create a better Emporia, and it is important to occasionally look back at what has been accomplished before moving forward.  The following is a brief look back at…

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