Anita Perry Gives Caldwell Sneak Peek of Main Street City

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CALDWELL, Texas Texas First Lady Anita Perry paid a visit to Caldwell to congratulate the town for its Main Street City acceptance, and to get a sneak peek of what's to come.

Perry also stopped by Sealy and Waco, the two other towns selected by the Texas Historical Commission for the program.

"You know, it's easy to tear that building down, but it's a lot harder to save the memories," said Perry.

According to the Texas Historical Commission's website, the mission of the Texas Main Street Program is "to provide technical expertise, resources and support for Texas communities in the preservation and revitalization of historic downtowns and commercial neighborhood districts.

What looked like half the town packed into the Caldwell Civic Center to get a look at Perry, and to see what the city has planned.

"Well, I'm a small town girl, and every time I come back to a small town, it makes me remember where I came from and where I'm going," said Perry.

Perry said Caldwell is a small town with big potential.

"Texas had 56 billion dollars in tourism, so that's not a little drop in the bucket," said Perry. "Caldwell is a great city, and it can do its share of bringing that money here."

Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission, Mark Wolfe, said its tough for a city to get accepted into the program, but it's usually worth the effort.

"If you take a community, make it a Main Street Community and really invest the time and effort it takes to make it a successful Main Street Community, the return on investment just in terms of dollars, is going to be remarkable." said Wolfe.

It's an exciting time for the town of about 4,500 people.

Joe Rychlik said he's lived in Caldwell for 42 years, and he thinks the program is great news for the town.

"It shows that we are growing and have an opportunity to introduce a lot of the older things to the younger people that may have overlooked them," said Rychlik.

Perry unveiled renderings of what city officials hope some of the old buildings will look like once they're restored.

Caldwell Main Street Advisory Board President Jeanie Price said they're looking for input from the public to help nail down final plans.

"We have meetings, they're open meetings. Also, they can approach any board member with their ideas," said Price.

The Main Street City Board meets the second Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m. in Caldwell City Council Chambers.

For more information on the Main Street Program, click on the link added to this story