A 30 drive to the west will take you to Levelland, and for those of you thinking that it is just another small town, think again. For the fourth year in a row, Levelland has been named a Main Street City.
When Lisa Presley wants to test out her skin care products she doesn't have to go far. "Anytime during the week, you can come down here and the streets are full of people." She owns Lisa Lisa, a skin care company in downtown Levelland. For her, there is no better place for business. "It's very centrally located. I'm really proud to be where I am because we do have such a nice downtown." But it has taken some work.
Levelland has been a Main Street City for four years now. Main Street is a program through the Texas Historical Commission to help revitalize historic down towns. Levelland is one of fewer than 200 Main Street Cities in Texas. "Everything is just kind of working it's way up and improving. It's pretty awesome," says Debra Dye, the Main Street director.
Levelland has made a lot of visible changes. Debra says center street parking was added; so were brick islands in the street with oak trees and historic lighting. The laws looks better than ever in front of the courthouse, and the old, crumbling sidewalks have been renovated.
Debra says businesses are looking better than ever. "It's kind of one of those things that if you're living in your neighborhood and your neighbor cleans up their house and they painting it and make it look really sharp, then you want to do something on yours. That's what we've seen downtown."
It takes more than renovations to become a Main Street City. "Without community support you just can't make things happen," says Debra. Levelland has festivals and programs in the heart of downtown. "If people don't know that you're here the stores aren't going to have enough customers coming in. So they can't justify the expense of renovating their buildings. So, it's really important to bring attention to downtown."
Debra says each year has been one more step in the right direction for Levelland. "It' improves everybody's quality of life here. We're doing something right. We don't have all the answers, and we aren't there yet, but we're getting there."