West Jefferson’s downtown ‘streetscape’ project honored

April 8, 2014

The West Jefferson Small Town Main Street program has announced that its “streetscape” project was recognized in the 2013 N.C. Small Town Main Street Awards competition by winning an Award of Merit in the design category.

“We’re very proud of being recognized by the state’s Main Street program for this honor,” said West Jefferson Mayor Dale Baldwin.

“It’s gratifying to know that the efforts of all of those involved in making our downtown revitalization project a success are getting the recognition they deserve,” said Baldwin.

The N.C. Small Town Main Street Awards competition recognizes the outstanding achievements of participating communities in organization, design, economic restructuring and promotion, the four key areas of the downtown revitalization program’s emphasis. Entries were judged by a panel that included N.C. Main Street Center staff and Main Street managers.

Following the judging, Office of Urban Development Director Liz Parham said, “North Carolina Main Street and Small Town Main Street Awards represent some of the very best revitalization work taking place in our state. Whether it’s a streetscape project that makes the central business district more walkable and attractive, a building rehabilitation that provides space for exciting new businesses, a special event that builds on the heritage of the community, or one of many other exemplary projects that contributes to the vitality of Main Street downtowns, these award-winners are outstanding examples of partnerships, innovation, quality, and sustainability and serve as models for other small towns and cities throughout North Carolina.”

On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Parham and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dr. Pat Mitchell presented the Small Town Main Street Awards during the N.C. Main Street Annual Awards Ceremony at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation created the Main Street program, which uses a downtown revitalization strategy for smaller towns based on economic revitalization within the context of historic preservation. North Carolina was selected as an original Main Street state in 1980, and in 2003 the Office of Urban Development established the N.C. Small Town Main Street program. Since its inception, N.C. Small Town Main Street has selected 50 communities from across the state to participate in the program.

The Small Town Main Street program focuses on the growing number of small, rural towns that need downtown development assistance but are not likely, due to size or resource limitations, to pursue the regular Main Street program. Selected communities receive on-site technical assistance from the Small Town Main Street staff in areas including organizational development, market analysis, business assistance, promotions and design.