Current Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 19:47:58 -0400
Meg McGurk’s love of Chapel Hill started with Franklin Street.
So when McGurk, the executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, heard about a competition for the best main streets in North Carolina, she immediately wanted to nominate Franklin Street.
“It is the best main street in the entire state of North Carolina and now everyone has a chance to vote for it,” McGurk said.
The Great Main Street competition is sponsored by the North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association.
Last week, Franklin Street was named a finalist in the competition, which is accepting votes until March 15.
Ben Hitchings, president of the North Carolina chapter of the association, said he thought Franklin Street was a great fit for the competition.
“I loved going to places like Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe or the Shrunken Head,” said Hitchings, who graduated from UNC in 1997.
“It’s got those long-standing businesses and then it’s got exciting new developments”.
To nominate Franklin Street, McGurk sent two photos and a 100-word statement about why Franklin Street would make an excellent candidate for the competition.
From there, an expert panel chose six streets — two from the piedmont, coast and mountain regions.
“The expert panel was impressed by the combination of collegiate Southern charm and modern urban living that is exemplified along Franklin Street now,” Hitchings said.
For some students, Franklin Street memories are a critical part of their college experience.
“Some of my favorite college memories have been storming Franklin Street after our basketball team has won a game,” UNC sophomore Alaina Altamura said.
Hitchings said after the voting period closes, the votes will be tallied and the winner will be announced.
McGurk said she is confident that Franklin Street will win.
“Franklin Street holds an amazing amount of nostalgia and meaning to many people,” McGurk said.
“People absolutely fall in love with our entire community because of Franklin Street — I know I did.”
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