WHEELING - North Main Street stands with President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock, Ark., and the Virginia Beach Boardwalk as three "Great Places in America."
David Morley, research associate for the American Planning Association, said once the organization recognizes a street or area as one of the "Great Places in America," that place retains the title forever.
"This is an ongoing designation. ... It will continue to be recognized as a great street," he said of North Main Street.
Photo by Casey Junkins
The American Planning Association has namedWheeling’s North Main Street “One of America’s Great Streets.”
The organization now has 80 streets, public places and neighborhoods listed as "Great Places in America," with a total of 30 distinguished in 2009. Morley said the list will continue to grow in future years, but he emphasized that North Main Street will always remain on the list.
Other streets receiving the designation this year include South Main Street in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Front Street in Bath, Maine; Broadway Street in Skagway, Alaska; Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, N.J.; Main Street in Greenville, S.C.; Duke of Gloucsester Street in Williamsburg, Va.; and East Newberry Boulevard in Milwaukee, Wis.
Public spaces listed include the Virginia Beach Boardwalk in Virginia Beach, Va.; New Haven Green in New Haven, Conn.; The Green in Dover, Del.; The Squares of Savannah in Savannah, Ga.; Lincoln Park in Chicago, Ill.; East Park in Charlevoix, Mich.; The Grand Rounds in Minneapolis, Minn.; Central Square in Keene, N.H.; Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing, N.Y.; and Central Market in Lancaster, Pa.
Great neighborhoods include Bungalow Heaven in Pasadena, Calif.; Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, La.; The Haymarket in Lincoln, Neb.; the Village of Kenmore in Kenmore, N.Y.; Downtown Fargo in Fargo, N.D.; Ladd's Addition in Portland, Ore.; the Downtown Franklin Historic District in Franklin, Tenn.; Montrose in Houston, Texas; the Historic Hilton Village in Newport News, Va.; and Browne's Addition in Spokane, Wash.
Morley said streets are selected for a variety of factors, including the functionality of the street. He said North Main Street serves as "the center of a neighborhood." He noted the organization attempts to maintain a balance of areas from large, medium and small population centers, considering also the geographic location of such centers.
"It really reflects the local culture and history of the area. ... It bridges the past and the future," he said of the Wheeling street.
Morley said much of that culture involves the unique Victorian architecture, designs and the efforts made to restore the neighborhood to its 1890s luster.
Wheeling Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge, who represents much of North Wheeling in the city's 1st Ward, said many of the Main Street homes "are just fabulous."
"I have been in these homes. Many of them have beautiful gardens in the back, and others have very impressive views of the (Ohio) River," she said.
City Manager Robert Herron said during the Tuesday council meeting that Main Street was selected from a list of more than 200 entries. He added that the city was very honored to receive the designation.