The California Main Street Program was established in 1986. From 1986 to 2002, the California Main Street Program was administered by the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency and supported by State General Funds. In 2003, due to the budgetary crises, the Main Street Program was terminated when the California Technology, Trade and Commerce Agency was eliminated by the Budget Act.
In 2002, the California Main Street Alliance was formed in an effort to re-establish the Main Street program. In August 2004, through the work of CAMSA, the California Preservation Foundation, and the Californians for Preservation Action, the Main Street Program was re-established within the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP).
To build greater capacity and support for the program, in 2018 the National Main Street Center partnered with CAMSA and is the current administrator of the state-wide Main Street program.