Lynn Raker wins Main Street Champion Award

Published 9:26 am Friday, March 18, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

Lynn Raker, urban design planner with Salisbury’s Community Planning Services, received a Main Street Champion Award on Friday.

Thirty-seven people were chosen for the honor.

“This year’s champions represent Main Street board members and volunteers, nonprofit leaders, downtown developers and small business owners, elected officials, city employees and Boy Scouts,” Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street and Rural Planning Center, said in a press release. “These individuals give 110 percent to their community and then ask what’s next.”

“We’re very, very proud of her,” Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander said.

Main streets from across the state were recognized on Thursday during the N.C. Main Street Awards Ceremony in Goldsboro.

Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III and Assistant Secretary Dr. Patricia Mitchell, CeCD, presented awards to the Main Street recipients at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Goldsboro.

Salisbury won the Best Public-Private Partnership in Downtown Revitalization Award of Merit for Lee Street Theater and Performing Arts Center’s streetscape improvements.

Alexander said without the investment of the community, including private donors and funds provided in the city’s budget, the area around the theater “wouldn’t look the same.”

“It says so much about our community and the leadership that we show between the public and the private,” she said.

Salisbury also won the Best Endangered Properties Rescue Effort for the 1820 Fulton-Mock-Blackmer House rehabilitation.

Alexander said different individuals, entities and organizations in the community, including the Historic Salisbury Foundation, worked hard to save the house, which now anchors an important city street.

“I think it’s remarkable in terms of the amount of passion and the fact that people don’t give up, even in the face of tremendous odds,” she said.

“This year’s winners represent some of North Carolina’s best ambassadors promoting business-friendly downtowns, historic preservation and artistic streetscapes,” Skvarla said in a press release. “We want to shine a spotlight on their hard work of revitalizing downtowns all across our state and providing job opportunities in our local communities.”

The North Carolina Main Street program helps provide resources to small towns for downtown development.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.