Many agencies and organizations have formed over the years to preserve the historical and cultural character of the downtown district. Front Street, itself, has undergone several preservation and beautification projects, with the most well known dating back to 1958 when the members of the newly-formed Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches stopped plans to blacktop the bricked street by literally laying down in front of machinery. In 2008, the City of Natchitoches undertook a renovation project to improve utilities, handicapped accessibility, and roadway safety. While performing work on the historic brick roadway as part of this project, archaeologists unearthed a variety of artifacts dating back to the 18th-century and Natchitoches’ colonial roots, proving that history is integral to life in downtown Natchitoches.