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

Community Initiated Development Plan

By Casey Woods | June 23, 2015

We have covered Community Initiated Development in past newsletters.  As a brief refresher, the process is what it sounds like: the community initiates the development it wants and needs.  In this scenario, we work with community members and property owners to identify properties for redevelopment. Obviously, we would prefer adaptively reusing existing buildings, but occasionally…

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Window Displays that POP!

By Casey Woods | September 24, 2014

Window Displays That Pop!   Your window displays are your first impression.  Do they catch your attention?- By Lauren Woolard   Windows are your first chance to make an impression on consumers.  Do your displays invite people in? Do they tell a story about your merchandise? If the answer to these questions is “no”, then…

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Chronically Vacant Property Ordinance

By Casey Woods | September 24, 2014

The Chronically Vacant Property Ordinance   A helping hand, coupled with basic expectations, to curb chronic vacancies in commercial and residential properties One of the most frequently asked questions anyone in an elected office, community development, economic development or civic capacity is asked is: “What are you going to do about that vacant property?”  A…

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Trees Please!

By Casey Woods | July 31, 2014

  Trees Please!        Why urban planners are turning to trees to solve community problems. One of the best sources of public discourse at Main Street is the simple act of hand delivering items.  We don't always have time to do that, because the community and our membership keeps us very busy jumping…

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Bringing it all Together: The 4 Point Approach

By Casey Woods | July 8, 2014

  Bringing it all   Together           Different points provide better results Every business or organization has to ask themselves a series of tough questions to achieve success.  What makes you different?  What makes you special?  How are you different from your competition?  The answers to these questions often make up a large…

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What is Your Building Hiding?

By Casey Woods | July 8, 2014

  What is your building   hiding?                     Out of sight should be on your mind in your building this (and every) year. Spring is here and people are strolling through the community.  As creatures of habit, it is common for business people to become accustomed to their…

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