Mt. Lebanon Main Street Proud!

Mt. Lebanon is one of 32 communities in Pennsylvania – and the only one in the South Hills- to earn recognation as a nationally accredited program by the National Main Street Center.

The Accreditation award was presented at this week’s meeting of the Southwest Regional Revitalization Network in Sewickley.

“Certainly, the acknowledgement is much appreciated,” said Eric Milliron, Mt. Lebanon commercial districts manager. “It gives us statewide and national recognition.”

The National Main Street Center, established in 1980 as a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, works with communities to encourage preservation-based economic revitalization.

Mt. Lebanon’s Main Street program, which has earned annual accreditation since 2005, focuses on the central business district along Washington Road. The Mt. Lebanon Partnership, a nonprofit community development agency, administers the program.

“From the municipality’s perspective, we support the partnership on a number of levels,” Mr. Milliron said, including helping to organize and promote community events such as the annual summer ULTRAparty and the Plein Air Mt. Lebanon arts festival.

He said the partnership, for which he serves as a municipal liaison, submitted the application for Main Street accreditation in October.

“It ensures that we’re working at a high level,” he explained. “We’re looking to be innovative and make sure that innovation has a net positive effect for Washington Road.”

The annual national accreditation status is based upon 10 standards of performance, demonstrating that a program:

  • Has broad-based community support for commercial district revitalization, with strong support from both public and private sectors.
  • Has developed vision and mission statements relevant to community conditions and to the local Main Street program’s organizational stage.
  • Has a comprehensive Main Street Work Plan.
  • Possesses a historic preservation ethic.
  • Has an active board of directors and committees.
  • Has an adequate budget.
  • Has a paid professional program manager.
  • Conducts a program of ongoing training for staff and volunteers.
  • Reports key statistics.
  • Is a member of the National Trust Main Street Network.

“Accreditation is an acknowledgement of the fact that an organization is following and implementing a program that is likely to result in a successful revitalization effort,” said Bill Fontana, executive director of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center, the coordinating organization for the Main Street program in this state.

Mt. Lebanon’s central business district includes 41 commercial properties between the 600 and 733 Washington Road. The district is home to 182 businesses, including 72 storefronts, according to the municipality.

Harry Funk, freelance writer: