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2010 Cottage & Town Awards

Downtown Rehoboth Beach promotes quality building, renovation

By Carly Wellham |

Downtown Rehoboth Beach Main Street is hosting its 14th annual Cottage and Town Awards to celebrate the renovation and preservation of Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Nominations for awards are due Sept. 24, 2010; to download a nomination form, visit http://www.rehomain.com/Cottage_Town_Awards.htm

The Cottage and Town Awards was founded by a group of local citizens with an interest in preserving the charm and history of the area. In 2005 those citizens passed their ideas to Rehoboth Beach Main Street, a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Kathy McGuiness, an employee for Rehoboth Beach Main Street Inc., said people from all over seek out the renovated houses and buildings.

“It is very popular,” McGuiness said. “Even people from out of town come to see the beautiful architecture and renovations. It’s quite an honor if you win an award, so people get pretty involved.”

This program was created with the hope of keeping downtown Rehoboth economically strong and architecturally unique. The award system is designed to recognize and thank those citizens who contribute to the charm and beauty of the downtown area.

There are five award categories: residential preservation and renovation, residential new construction, commercial preservation and renovation, commercial new construction, and landscape renovation and new plantings.

The public is encouraged to nominate candidates whose work has taken place in the last three years. The nominator is allowed to own the property, but nominators do not have to own any property. Winners will receive a bronze award plaque and recognition in a press release and at a ceremony in November.

New constructions that garner awards generally follow the traditional seaside homes on small lots with modest scale. The renovation and preservation idea reflects Rehoboth Beach’s long history of the “good neighbor” policy.

2009 Residential Preservation/Renovation Winner

Last year’s winner for residential preservation, 161 Columbia Avenue, retained a traditional Rehoboth look by keeping its profile and façade while using a modest addition to connect two separate structures on the property. The entire place was redressed with authentic shingles in a simple and straightforward exterior refurbishment. The committee was impressed with the restraint and a strict adherence to the structures” original footprints in modernizing this classic Rehoboth cottage.

“Architectures that have more of a seaside flavor or character tend to be more popular because they fit in to the theme of the downtown area,” McGuiness said.

The Rehoboth Beach Main Street Design Committee will judge the properties.