Reeling from budget cuts, Illinois Main Street program added to "endangered" list

A state program to revitalize downtown business districts is in such sorry shape that a preservation group placed it on a list of endangered historic sites Tuesday alongside neglected homes and dilapidated theaters.

Main Street Illinois has been hit hard by state budget cuts. A staff of six was cut to just one person and technical advice to cities was largely halted, the group Landmark Illinois said.

The National Main Street Center suspended the Illinois program recently and could bar it from using the "Main Street" name if it doesn't make improvements.

Landmarks Illinois, which produces the annual list of endangered historic sites, said the program has created thousands of jobs by advising cities on how to preserve and energize their downtowns.

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