Congratulations to Culpeper Renaissance, Inc., a 2012 Great American Main Street Awards® (GAMSA) winner. Recognized as a leader in implementing the Main Street Four-Point Approach®, embracing sound historic preservation practices and building strategic partnerships, Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. (CRI) was honored at the Main Street Awards Ceremony at the 2012 National Main Streets Conference in Baltimore, Md.
The National Trust Main Street Center’s annual GAMSA awards recognize exceptional accomplishments in revitalizing the nation’s historic Main Street commercial districts. CRI is credited with leading the once-thriving downtown district back to vitality after steady decline that began in the 1970s. The demolition threat to a once-bustling train depot was the spark that ignited citizen action. CRI was formed in 1987, became a Main Street program in 1988 and joined public and private entities in redeveloping the depot, making streetscape and infrastructure improvements and restoring badly damaged storefronts. Vacancies are now down to 6 percent from 86, thanks to a mix of banks, boutiques and coffee shops. Upper floor apartments along Culpeper’s Davis Street are occupied, and the downtown is again thriving.
Culpeper demonstrates what can be achieved with a strong commitment to historic preservation and a broad base of supporters,” says Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “This combination enabled its swift but thoughtful recovery from the 2011 earthquake and promises a bright future for Culpeper as a growing regional cultural and entertainment destination.
A great two-minute video summarizing the town’s accomplishments was shown at the awards presentation ceremony and can be viewed on the Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. 2012 GAMSA page.
Culpeper is the fourth Virginia Main Street community to be awarded a Great American Main Street Award. Previous Virginia GAMSA award winners include Staunton (2002), Manassas (2003) and Lynchburg (2006).