If you want to see the prettiest painted communities in America, you’re going to need a lot of time, several tanks of gas, and a state-of-the-art GPS. The Paint Quality Institute has identified the nation’s 12 most beautifully painted neighborhoods and towns, and many are little-known and far from the beaten path.
Naming of the 12 “Prettiest Painted Places in America” comes after a rigorous four-month search by the Paint Quality Institute that involved thousands of contacts with state tourism departments, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce and Main Street groups, all of whom were invited to nominate communities. A panel of judges with expertise in paint and exterior color schemes reviewed the entries and named two winners from each of six different geographic areas:
-- In the Northeast Region, the winners were Brookville, Pennsylvania and Downtown Frederick, Maryland. Brookville is a beautiful historic western Pennsylvania town with hundreds of artfully painted Victorian homes and buildings. Downtown Frederick’s Main Street area, home to a vibrant arts community, has beautifully painted architecture dating to the 1700s.
-- The Southeast Region winners were Historic Downtown Smithfield, Virginia and Key West, Florida. The former is a quaint river town with many historic structures ranging in style from Colonial to Federal to Victorian. Key West, southernmost of the Florida Keys, has brightly painted “conch” homes and “shotgun-style” cottages constructed in the 1800s by shipbuilder-carpenters.
-- Winners in the North Central Region were Bay View Association, Michigan and Stillwater, Minnesota. Bay View, an 1800s Methodist camp meeting community of more than 400 small cottages, is now a charming and colorful Victorian resort designated a National Historic Landmark. Stillwater has colorful Victorian mansions built by lumber barons and a Main Street listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
-- In the South Central Region, the winners were Old Arabi Neighborhood, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana and Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Missouri. The former, located just five miles from New Orleans’ French Quarter, has two historic districts full of beautifully painted structures. Lafayette Square is an elegant urban neighborhood comprised of stately Victorian-era homes with fine painted detailing.
-- The Northwest Region winners were The Victorian Village of Ferndale, California and Eureka, California. Ferndale has a nationally recognized historic business district with beautifully detailed commercial buildings and Victorian homes. Eureka is a port city 100 miles south of the Oregon border with fantastic Victorian homes built by lumber magnates.
-- Winners in the Southwest Region were Tubac, Arizona and Manhattan Beach, California. Established in 1752 as a Spanish fort, Tubac is an exquisite, brightly painted town with more than 100 galleries and businesses lining its meandering streets. Manhattan Beach is a colorful coastal community near Los Angeles where the beautiful landscape is punctuated with artful, individualistic paint color.
The purpose of the competition is to give recognition to places that use paint to express pride in their communities, and highlight how an attractive exterior paint treatment can enhance the curb appeal of virtually any home, building, or exterior structure.
For a glimpse of the 12 Prettiest Painted Places in America, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at http://blog.paintquality.com/ppp/