Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III and Assistant Secretary Dr. Patricia Mitchell highlighted award winning downtown revitalization efforts at the N.C. Main Street Awards Conference in Morganton Thursday night (March 19). They presented 23 awards to participants in the N.C. Main Street and Small Town Main Street programs in the City of Morganton’s Municipal Auditorium. Award winners are recognized for excellence in downtown revitalization efforts in categories that include promotion, organization, design and economic restructuring.
The North Carolina Main Street program helps small towns preserve their historic fabric. Local resources help participants build on their community’s unique characteristics to create vibrant central business districts. This year’s award winners were chosen by a panel of independent judges from dozens of applications submitted by Main Street participants throughout the state.
The North Carolina Small Town Main Street program is designed to provide downtown revitalization assistance to small towns with a population of less than 7,500 that are not likely, due to size or resource limitations, to pursue the regular North Carolina Main Street program. Admittance into the Small Town Main Street program is through a competitive application process.
As part of the 2014 N.C. Main Street Awards presentation, Morganton was given the Award of Merit for "Morganton's Main Street Program Energizes Downtown." In addition, Morganton received the Best Image-Building Campaign Award of Merit for the city's Wayfinding Program.
In the category of Best Adaptive Reuse Project, Newton received the Award of Merit for Repurposing of 19 College Avenue. In the category of Best Business Retention, Expansion or Recruitment Effort, Morganton received the Award of Merit for the Creative Arts Center Recruitment Initiative.
Individuals were recognized as well last night. Among those honored as 2014 N.C. Main Street Champions were Betty Mahoney of the Hickory Downtown Development Association, Matthew Underwood of Downtown Lenoir, Brooke Sherrill of the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton Inc., Dr. Gresham Orrison of the City of Morganton, the Stiver Family from the Downtown Newton Development Association,and David and Rebecca Jones of the Downtown Statesville Development Corporation.