The Washington County Courthouse in historic downtown Jonesborough (Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press).
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Economic Development announced Wednesday that Jonesborough had achieved Tennessee Main Street certification.
The community joins 24 other Tennessee Main Street communities that are certified through the state program and accredited by the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“Jonesborough is part of the rich tapestry of Tennessee’s history,” Economic Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said in a news release. “Jonesborough’s unique distinction as the oldest city in our state and home to the National Storytelling Festival draws thousands of visitors and international acclaim.
"I congratulate Jonesborough on their accomplishment and am pleased the Main Street program can help one of Tennessee’s treasures become an even greater place to live, work, shop and visit.”
Tennessee Main Street provides technical assistance and guidance for communities in developing common sense solutions to make downtowns safe, appealing, vibrant places where folks want to shop, live and make memories.
“We are very pleased to become a part of the Tennessee Main Street program,” Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe said. “As Tennessee's oldest town, we believe our strengths in tourism can be enhanced by the program's many opportunities to network and learn from other communities. The future of tourism in Jonesborough will certainly benefit from this program.”
Jonesborough’s designation is based upon a successful application submitted by the Town of Jonesborough. The Tennessee Main Street Program application requires communities to illustrate a strong commitment to a Main Street Program from city/county government, an adequate organizational budget, a commitment to hire staff, a strong historic preservation ethic, a collection of historic buildings and a walkable, historic commercial district.
There are currently 25 certified Main Street program communities across Tennessee: Bristol, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dandridge, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville,Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Leiper’s Fork, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Morristown, Rogersville, Tiptonville, Savannah, Union City and Ripley.
“Jonesborough is very excited to be joining the Tennessee Main Street Community,” Jonesborough Main Street Coordinator Melinda Copp said. “The four-point approach has proven to work time and time again and we are ready to get to work.”
In 2012, certified Main Street communities generated more than $82 million of public/private investment and created 604 new jobs, according to the news release.
Tennessee Main Street operates under the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information about the Tennessee Main Street Program, please visit www.tennesseemainstreet.org. For more on the National Main Street Center, visit www.mainstreet.org.