Nash, Goldsboro, Douglas Streets Named 'Great Main Street in the Making'

Wilson, N.C. (May 23, 2014) - A panel of expert judges has singled out three streets in Historic Downtown Wilson as a symbol of great revitalization.

Great Main StreetThe North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association has honored Nash, Goldsboro, and Douglas streets as a “Great Main Street in the Making,” in the professionals’ category of the “Great Places in North Carolina” awards program.

The award will be presented to city officials during the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ Town Hall Day on Wednesday, June 4, in Raleigh. Historic Downtown Wilson will also be honored during APA’s annual conference in October 2014.

"It’s a great honor to receive the recognition of ‘Great Main Street in the Making’ from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association,” said Kimberly Van Dyk, Wilson downtown manager. "Clearly, the development in Historic Downtown Wilson has stood out amongst our peers for our comprehensive, creative and significant progress in recent years. A great mix of sound planning, great vision, successful implementation and substantial community involvement is paying dividends.

"This recognition from such an esteemed panel of judges is further proof that, even though we don’t always recognize it locally, positive change is happening rapidly right before our eyes. It’s only a matter of time before we become the ‘Great Main Street’ in North Carolina.”

The “Great Street in the Making” is given to a street that is still being planned or developed, but has lots of potential for greatness, according to APA. Wilson’s nomination highlighted the major efforts being taken in the heart of Wilson to spur revitalization. The panelists noted the city’s dedication and unique strategy to combine arts, history, and technology.

Wilson is the only community to receive this particular award in 2014.

Four other Main Streets and One Public Place were chosen or voted to be a 2014 Great Place. In the “People’s Choice” category, Burnsville’s Town Square was awarded Great Public Place and Morganton’s Union Street received recognition for Great Main Street. This category was nominated by and voted on by the public. The experts narrowed down the pool to a final 12 that were then up for review on the website.

The expert panel selected three other North Carolina main streets for the “Great Main Streets” award, including Main Street in Hendersonville, North Salem Street in Apex, and Fourth Street in Winton-Salem as Great Main Streets.

"All of these 'Great Main Streets' are vibrant centers of commerce and community," said Ben Hitchings, President of APA-NC.  "Through this program, we celebrate great places in our state and the local partnerships that have made these main streets a focal point for community life." .

The expert panel of judges includes George Chapman, former Planning Director, City of Raleigh; Ben Hitchings, Planning Director for the Town of Morrisville and APA-NC President; Mary Joan Pugh, Chief of Staff, North Carolina Zoo; Mary Newsom, Associate Director Urban and Regional Affairs, UNC Charlotte Institute of Urban and Regional Affairs; Sue Schwartz, Planning Director, City of Greensboro; Rodger Lentz, Planning Director, City of Wilson and member of the board of directors of the American Planning Association; H. DeWitt Blackwell, Jr., Executive Director, Western Piedmont Council of Governments; David W. Owens, Gladys Hall Coates Professor of Public Law; and, Ed Johnson, Safe Routes to School Coordinator, NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.

In addition to being featured on the website and the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association website, winners are provided marketing materials to use in their business and economic development efforts, receive an award at a special presentation in their community, and will be recognized at the upcoming APA-NC Annual Conference in October.

The program’s goal is to celebrate Great Places in NC, recognize the hard work that went into creating them, and provide examples of successful places to the rest of the state. Building on the success of the previous two years’ Great Places in North Carolina awards, APA-NC is pleased to recognize these great communities in North Carolina.  To learn more about each of the selected communities, folks can visit, where a photo gallery and list of the winners will be available.  .

The North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association is an organization of 1,500 professional and citizen planners dedicated to preserving and creating great communities throughout North Carolina. The annual conference for the APA – NC will be October 1-3, in Durham, NC. For more information, please visit