RENO, NEV. — Following the long-term effort to revitalize its historic downtown district, the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) recognized Northern Nevada’s Virginia City for having the state’s top public project of 2013. The APA Nevada Chapter presented the DeBoer Award for Outstanding Plan on an Individual Project to the design team for the Virginia City Streetscape Enhancement Project and Visitor’s/Welcome Center. The project was designed by Stantec in association with the Dube Group, Dinter Engineering and CME.

“This gave our historical district a beautiful presence that truly reflects the pride we hold in Virginia City’s heritage,” said Dean Haymore, Storey County Community Development Director. “It’s inspiring to see this project gain notoriety beyond the city’s limits.”

Selected by a panel of industry leaders, the DeBoer awards “honor excellence in planning projects” and “represent the best efforts of the planning community to affect the Silver State in a positive way.” The National American Planning Association subsequently named Virginia’s City’s C Street as a “Top 10 Great Street from 2013.”

Celebrating history
A dual-phase project which concluded in 2011, the Virginia City Streetscape and Enhancement included several distinctive elements:

• A ‘Welcoming’ site — Enhancements were made to the town visitor’s center with the inclusion of a picnic area, rustic landscaping, a restroom designed to match the district’s aesthetic, and a historic mine head tower that was relocated from the historic Keystone Mine in nearby Gold Hill, Nev.

• Shedding light — Approximately 153 historic street lights were added on both sides of the city’s Main Street to complement the heritage-driven theme.

• Walking planks — Along Virginia City’s Main Street, an extension of 3,000 linear feet of cedar boardwalk replaced a dirt walking surface to provide an authentic classic western streetscape.

• Community-driven Design — Considerable input was used and solicited from key community organizations, including the Comstock Historic District, County Commission and the Virginia City Lamplighter Restoration Committee.

“As a designer, it’s inspiring when we get to help celebrate the very best in a community … Virginia City gave us the opportunity to blend creativity and function to enhance the experience of visitors,” said Cynthia Albright, Stantec senior associate.