Downtown Delaware is now officially an award-winning great place.
The Ohio Chapter of the American Planning Association this month awarded downtown Delaware a “Great Place in Ohio” designation. The biennial awards program honors outstanding physical spaces throughout the state that planners have created and nurtured through careful planning and imagination.
Downtown Delaware was evaluated based on: character and personality, uniqueness, special history, how the space is used and planning initiatives. “Delaware celebrates the historical context of the community by integrating its past into current and future success,” the APA said.
The downtown’s signature feature is a fairly intact historic business district, parts of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. The three-block, Sandusky Street Corridor boasts a variety of niche shopping, dining and brew pubs. “The downtown is Delaware’s most defining element,”
Delaware Planning and Community Development Director Dave Efland said. “It is preserved historic buildings still very much resembling their 19th-century origins, as well as eclectic shopping, patio dining and cultural offerings.”
Delaware’s commitment to its bustling downtown is reflected in the Historic Preservation Commission, tasked with preserving the character of the downtown’s historic structures and ensuring compatible new construction within the district. City Hall also supports planning efforts to update historic façades, implement streetscape improvements, install wayfinding signage and preserve century-old buildings. In addition, the City of Delaware provides financial support each year to Main Street Delaware.
“The cumulative effect of all of this is a vibrant Downtown District where visitors, business, university, and the arts create a synergy defining Delaware’s personality,” Efland said.