Grounded in Collaboration
Main Street Design was founded in 1991 by its current principals, Michael Mercadante and Tevere MacFadyen, along with exhibit designer Penny Perez, who is still with our firm today. The three of us had worked together at the Boston-based exhibit design firm of Joseph A. Wetzel Associates, and after leaving that office we formed an informal collaborative with the intention of jointly pursuing especially interesting projects. A quarter century later we’re still at it, still growing and learning, and still having fun.
Making a Name for Ourselves
Our first office was located in Central Square, Cambridge, a vibrant and diverse multicultural neighborhood midway between Harvard and MIT. We adopted our street address as the name for our new firm because we liked how simple and straightforward it was. That’s how we wanted our work to be, too: unpretentious, low-ego and friendly. We’ve moved several times since but we’ve held onto the name, and the attitude.
Throughout our history Main Street has concentrated on the interpretation of cultural heritage and natural history themes, and especially on subjects and projects where those themes intersect and overlap. We are drawn to stories and settings where landscape, climate and biology have influenced culture, and where the history of human interaction with the environment has something to tell us about ourselves and the world around us.
Main Street is widely recognized for the quality and innovation of its work. Our ground-breaking Think Tank exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution National Zoo received the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ top Exhibit Award, and our McNeil Avian Center at the Philadelphia Zoo received both a THEA Award from the Themed Entertainment Association and a Significant Achievement Award from the AZA. We have also been honored by the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Association for State and Local History, and the American Planning Association, among others.
Passionate and Practical
Main Street Design is flexible, responsive, and dedicated to providing authentic and compelling experiences. We are passionate about our work but mature enough not to let passion cloud our vision. Working together with our clients we create exhibits and experiences that are as accessible as they are engaging, as entertaining as they are stimulating, and as delightful as they are informative.