The Main Street Program was established in 1980 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to address and combat the threats on the commercial architecture and economic vitality of small city downtowns. Today there are over 60 Main Street communities in Illinois, with more being added each year. Pekin Main Street is a nonprofit organization which received its official charter as an "Illinois Main Street Community" on April 5, 1999. Pekin Main Street has a comprehensive plan for downtown revitalization, including adoption of design guidelines, incentives for building rehabilitation, customer surveys and basic market analysis, and the creation of several new downtown special events.
The mission statement for Pekin Main Street reads... "To preserve, restore and revitalize Pekin's downtown area, both aesthetically and economically, through educating the entire community to the benefits of Pekin's downtown." To accomplish the above mission statement, a four-point approach is used: