Thu, Oct 13, 2011 09:12 AM
Woodstock, VT - The American Planning Association (APA)
announced the designation of the Downtown Woodstock Streetscape as
one of 10 Great Streets for 2011 under the organization's Great
Places in America program. APA Great Places exemplify exceptional
character and highlight the role planners and planning play in
creating communities of lasting value.
APA singled out the Downtown Woodstock Streetscape for its 19th
century architecture, unique sense of place and scenic vistas. Four
streets - Central, Elm, North Park and South Park - have been the
backbone of the community's commerce, growth and social activity
since the Village of Woodstock was chartered 250 years ago.
"Woodstock is proud of its walkable historic community," said
Town-Village Manager Philip B. Swanson. "Well over half of the
structures were built in the 1800s. Woodstock is the ubiquitous New
England Village of old. This can be attested by the numerous
comments rendered by the thousands of visitor we receive each
year," he added.
Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes unique and
exemplary streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces - three
essential components of all communities. These places have
also been shaped by forward thinking planning that showcases
diverse architectural styles, promotes community involvement and
accessibility, and fosters economic opportunity.
"These streets not only accommodate cars and trucks traveling
through downtown Woodstock, but provide a true community gathering
place," said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP.
"Having developed organically over the centuries, these streets
have survived intact due to the combined planning efforts of
residents, merchants and village officials," he added.
The streets are home to some of the oldest properties and most
stately homes in Woodstock. Located on Elm Street are the Dana
House, F.H. Gillingham & Sons General Store and First
Congregational Church, all of which were built during the early
19th century. Between North and South Park streets is The Green,
Woodstock's front yard and the location of both a seasonal farmer's
market and several of the town's most impressive houses. Also near
The Green, at the intersection of North Park Street and Mountain
Avenue, is Middle Covered Bridge that crosses over the Ottauquechee
Chartered in 1761 and added to National Register of Historic
Places in 1973, the Village of Woodstock and its downtown
streetscape form what many consider to have been the 19th-century's
quintessential New England town center with a public green and
three- or four-story brick buildings standing side by side.
Steps to protect Woodstock's historic and scenic character go back
several decades, starting with Laurence Rockefeller, the grandson
of John D. Rockefeller, who in 1968 rebuilt the aging 1890s
Woodstock Inn located on The Green. The town's design review
regulations - Vermont's first such ordinance - were adopted in
1980. Woodstock also adopted an ordinance establishing scenic
ridgeline districts to ensure vistas visible from downtown, such as
Mt. Tom to the north and Mt. Peg to the south, were not
Although U.S. Route 4, of which Central Street and South Park
Street are a part, is state-regulated, the Village of Woodstock
controls portions through town. This allows the village to close
streets to traffic for special events, such as the Memorial Day
and Wassail Weekend parades.
The nine other APA 2011 Great Streets are: Santa Monica Boulevard,
West Hollywood, CA; U Street N.W., Washington, DC; Front Street,
Lahaina, HI; Main Street, Galena, IL; Main Street, Nantucket,
MA; Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO; Market Street and Market
Square, Portsmouth, NH; King Street, Alexandria, VA; and Davis
Street, Culpeper, VA.
The American Planning Association is an independent,
not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in
the development of communities. APA and its professional institute,
the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to
advancing the profession of good planning -- physical, economic and
social -- so as to create communities that offer better choices for
where and how people work and live.