Great Places 2016 Winners

Professional’s Category: Great Main Street


Trade Street and Matthews Station Streets are two prominent roads in Matthews—home to shops, institutional buildings, restaurants and special events. The two streets are representative of Matthews’ history and its future. Historically, Trade Street was a major thoroughfare, home to some of the oldest buildings in town (including 116-year old Renfrow Hardware). Around the corner, Matthews Station Street developed as town-managed infill project in the early 2000s. Matthews Station is a modern addition to downtown, but maintains the small town character by providing walkable streets and context-sensitive architecture. Here you’ll also find specialty restaurants, shops, a craft beer store, and even an electric charging station. These streets serve as the heartbeat of the town as citizens come here to shop, eat, play, and experience Matthews.





The intersection of Center Street and Broad Street, known affectionately as “The Square,” represents the finest of Main Streets in the state. There is a flurry of activity every day, from school uniforms to business suits, to live music and nightlife. There is art at every corner, in the cafes and shops, art galleries, and the sculpture park. The boutique-style shopping and independently-owned restaurants are centered on The Square. Festivals bring music and laughter and friends gather to eat and drink. Statesville’s main street serves as the “center” of the community’s values, intersecting with the city’s “broad” dreams for a dynamic future.



Main Street is the historic and cultural center for Waynesville and am important economic driver for the community. The town closes the street to automobile traffic to host community square dancing, music festivals, arts and crafts shows, parades, and the international Folkmoot Festival—which brings traditional dance troops from all over the world. On Main Street, you’ll find a wide slection of local businesses, restaurants, brew pubs, and art galleries, as well as the historic Strand Theater (a music and movie venue that offers free movies to kids on snow days). An improved streetscape includes seating areas, pocket parks, and landscaping that complements the historic buildings on Main Street.


Professional’s Category: Great Main Street In-the-Making 

Rocky Mount

A Main Street In-the-Making is a street that is still being planned or developed, but has great potential for success. Rocky Mount highlighted the Douglas Block Plan, Streetscape Plan, and Downtown Master Plans as key to capturing the community’s vision for Main Street and identifying appropriate implementation strategies. City staff forged many partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders to begin implementing the vision for Main Street. Over the past 14 years, the city has invested $50 million in revitalization projects in the vicinity of Main Street coupled with $10 million in private funding. These efforts are already showing signs of a new life and growing economy, signaling a bright future for Main Street and Rocky Mount.

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People’s Choice: Great Place for Healthy Living 

Pitt County (County Home Complex)

The County Home Complex for Pitt County includes Alice F. Keene District Park with the Community Schools and Recreation Center, Senior Center, Making Pitt Fit Community Garden, two elementary schools, Eastern Carolina Village and Farm Museum, Farmers’ Market, Animal Shelter and Recycling Center. Encompassing collaborative resources for physical activity, nutrition, education, county heritage, pet adoption and recycling, the Complex is a major destination point for all citizens. The Complex is included in the City of Greenville Greenway plan and will be connected to the network with adjacent property development. This connectivity will provide access to additional healthy living opportunities.


People’s Choice: Great Historic Rehabilitation 

Greensboro (The Southeastern Building)

Built in 1920, the American Exchange National Bank Building was Greensboro’s first “skyscraper.” Unfortunately, the bank failed during the Great Depression and the building was sold and remodeled for office use. During its heyday, the Southeastern Building was home to some of the city’s most successful businesses. After years of neglect the building was renovated to create a mix of apartments, offices and retail space. The street façades were faithfully restored and the two-story classical columns were reconstructed. The Southeastern Building is once again making a strong contribution to the economic vitality and architectural significance of the center city.



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