The renovation of the old E&A Railroad ticket office, now known as Maggy’s Place, put Elkin on the map as one of 19 communities receiving awards for excellence at the North Carolina Main Street and Small Town Main Street awards ceremony in March.
Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace and Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development Kenny Flowers presented the awards in categories including economic vitality, design, promotion and organization.
Mark and Debbie Imbus renovated and reopened the downtown Elkin location as an overnight vacation rental on the west end of Main Street in 2017.
“Downtown Elkin has been greatly enhanced with its first overnight stay location on Main street, for those visiting Elkin families, exploring the area wineries, attending weddings, or even coming up to see a Reeves show,” said Laura Gaylord, Main Street and community manager for Elkin.
Gaylord attended the conference and the awards dinner with the Imbuses. “Debbie and Mark bought this sweet little building a few years ago, and restored it back to the era around the 1930s based on old photos and extensive research. Their attention to detail made this property a real show-stopper and provides a beautiful exclamation point to the west end of downtown Main Street.”
Maggy’s Place was one of five projects presented with a Best Historic Rehabilitation Project award in the Design category. Other winners included projects in Garner, Goldsboro, Tryon and Wilson.
“The NC Main Street and Small Town Main Street programs provide communities with a recipe to succeed in economic and community development,” said Wallace. “I am honored to be here today to recognize the outstanding projects that have helped their communities succeed.”
Gaylord said in the beginning stages of the project, the aluminum siding was removed and the Imbuses found portions of decorative treasures which were still attached to the structure in bits and pieces, so more restoration and reconstructions had to be done to save the original detailed German woodworking.
“From inside to out, this property has been thoughtfully and lovingly restored, and we are very grateful for the attention to detail the Imbuses placed into this historic building.”
“These award-winning projects have made a significant difference to their communities, bringing new jobs, new activities, businesses and new investment to their Main Street and Small Town Main Street communities,” said Liz Parham, director of the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center, part of the Rural Economic Development Division at NC Commerce. “We are proud of the change that these communities are making as a result of the Main Street America program and its principles.”
Elkin Mayor Sam Bishop also attended the award ceremony and said he enjoys the annual conference that offers keynote speakers, learning sessions and ways to enhance, promote and restore historic downtowns.
Other local attendees included Commissioner Jeff Eidson, Brittany Russell, Brittany Rogers, Amanda Edgerly and Laura Garing.
Elkin has been part of the NC Main Street program for 20 years, since April 1998. Along with other benefits of the program, it offers free design services for historic buildings in the downtown area. Some of the color recommendations for the project were designed by a facade grant design team offered through this NC Main Street program, comprised of design students from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Anyone in the area interested in assistance for a historic downtown building facades or information on the facade grants should contact Gaylord at 336-794-6469.