The picturesque streets of Laramie's Downtown evoke a bygone era of Americana.  Outside of the University of Wyoming, nothing is more iconic in Laramie than our historic downtown, with its quaint cafes, unique shops, and iconic architecture. In the 1980s, a group of civic-minded residents began the process of caring for downtown. These efforts would lead to the eventual founding of today's Laramie Main Street Alliance.

Since 2005, the Laramie Main Street Alliance has sought to improve downtown infrastructure while preserving its historic integrity. Its efforts have reached national attention, and as of May 16, the LMSA and Downtown Laramie have been awarded the Great American Main Street Award.

Laramie Main Street Alliance
Laramie Main Street Alliance

The Great American Main Street Award, or GAMSA, recognizes winners' efforts in the community and economic development, and historic preservation. Since 1995, only about 100 Main Street programs have received the award. The efforts that won LMSA the award cannot be understated. The program has raised $21 million in investments for the downtown infrastructure, 148 new businesses, and a thriving downtown scene. The program is extensively volunteer-driven. Volunteers have logged over 59,024 hours of service worth about $1.2 million since LMSA's founding in 2005.

The President of Main Street America described the LMSA's efforts as inspiring, noting,

"Laramie’s creative and thoughtful approach to development has been inspiring to witness. Their longstanding commitment to economic vitality and community-driven change ensure a promising future for the historic city."


The Future of Laramie's Downtown District and LMSA

Laramie Main Street Alliance does not plan to rest on its laurels. Director Trey Sherwood has assured the Laramie community that the program intends to continue developing and caring for our downtown district, saying,

"We intend to leverage our GAMSA win to engage a broader audience in the Main Street movement and cultivate new customers for our businesses. We share this recognition with our partners, donors and volunteers who have invested in downtown’s beautification, preservation, economic and social vitality."

The program has announced several pending projects, including the extensive revitalization of 3rd street in their “3,2,1… Third Street!” project that seeks to provide a pedestrian-friendly, revitalizing area where Highway 287 runs through Downtown by 2026.

With LMSA continuing its exceptional work for our community, there's no doubt that Downtown Laramie will continue to grow and thrive into a rich, vibrant center for the Gem City of the Plains. Congrats to the Laramie Main Street Alliance!

7 Facts You Probably Don't Know About Laramie, WY

Explore interesting tidbits about Laramie, Wyoming.

More From Laramie Live