About Us

Alton Main Street’s mission is to engage our community in the continued renewal of our historic downtown district and Mississippi River heritage by cultivating an attractive center of economic and social activity.

The National Main Street Center was established as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980 to address the myriad issues facing historic downtowns. Working with a nationwide network, Main Street has helped over 2,000 communities across the country bring economic vitality back downtown, while celebrating their historic character, and bringing communities together.

Since 1994, Alton Main Street has led volunteer efforts to transform Alton’s Downtown district into a thriving commercial and residential center. Educating citizens about the benefits of historic preservation through public engagement is central to Alton Main Street’s purpose. The organization fosters an appreciation of our community’s history by coordinating social, economic and beautification activities.

Our committees work to carry out our mission in the following ways:

Economic Vitality

Enhances the district’s business environment by creating open lines of communication with civic leaders, coordinating educational opportunities to sharpen the competitive acumen of downtown merchants, and pooling public and private resources to make the district attractive to entrepreneurs and investors.

  • Business Recruitment & Retention
  • “What’s Up Downtown” Quarterly Information Exchanges and other Networking Opportunities
  • Marketing and Business Development initiatives
  • Entrepreneurial Education and Training
  • Market Research
  • Develop and Support Economic Development Strategies
  • Develop and Promote New Business Incentives
  • Track Inventory of Available Real Estate & Work to Fill Vacancies
  • Develop Placemaking Opportunities


Creates an attractive destination for visitors and locals alike. We build an inviting atmosphere with cohesive streetscape and place-making strategies, which encourage a clear historic preservation ethic. The group encourages “best practices” in Downtown design principles, which improve the quality of life for all stakeholders.

  • Spring & Fall Litter Clean-Ups
  • Garden Maintenance on 3rd, State and Belle Streets
  • Creation & Maintenance of the Pocket Park next door to Jacoby Arts Center
  • Public Art Projects
  • Providing Encouragement and Support for a Wayfinding Signage Project
  • Consultation on Appropriate Design for the Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings Through our Relationship with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency


Makes life interesting and exciting by forging a positive and distinctive identity for the district. Through a variety of special events, retail promotions, and affirmative messaging campaigns they attract locals and tourists to the charm of downtown Alton’s historic shopping and entertainment district.

  • Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market
  • Night Market on Broadway
  • All-Wheels Drive-In Car Show
  • Mississippi Earthtones Festival
  • Taste of Downtown Alton at Argosy Casino
  • Tree Lighting at Lincoln-Douglas Square
  • Green Gift Bazaar
  • Annual Chili Cookoff
  • Annual Pup Crawl
  • Pop Up Clothing Swaps
  • Retail promotions such as Small Business Saturday

Team Building

Develops stakeholders into community leaders.  Leveraging AMS’s vast network of community resources, we nurture these assets into the next generation of committed champions positioned to shape strategy and drive growth in the Downtown district and all of Alton.

  • Build Volunteer Support Teams for all events
  • Engage the Community in Collaboration with AMS
  • Engage Partners with Ideas for Participation
  • Coordinate Partnership Drive Activities
  • Plan and Execute Annual Meeting


Implements our strategic plan and builds community awareness of the Main Street brand, its resources, and accomplishments. They strengthen alliances, create partnerships, develop resources, and build consensus.

  • Annual Engagement Reaches More than 50,000 Stakeholders
  • Pursue Development Projects
  • Generate Interest in Downtown through Social Media
  • Collaborate w/ North and Upper Alton Business Districts
  • Generate Positive Media Coverage About our Community
  • Promote Community Involvement and Gather Community Input
  • Stay Up-to-Date with State and National Main Street Programs & Initiatives

Call (618) 463-1016 or E-mail [email protected] for more information