Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

R. Eugene Harper

Second Advisor

Joyce East

Third Advisor

Robert Maslowski


Once the heart of a town’s commercial district, Main Street in the post-World War II era became a ghost town as suburbanization lured consumers and merchants to new shopping complexes in rural areas. From the 1950s to the 1970s, with the aid of federal dollars cities embarked on various urban renewal projects. These revitalization attempts did not help the slumping commercial districts. In many cases, they destroyed historic buildings and left the cleared city blocks empty for decades. The National Main Street Program, created and administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, began in 1980 to address problems faced by American Main Streets. Since its implementation, the National Main Street Program through its Four-Point Approach has helped communities restore and rehabilitate their downtowns. In West Virginia, several towns utilize this revitalization methodology. This study reviews the revitalization efforts in St. Albans, West Virginia, a Main Street community since 2001.


Community development


Community development, Urban