Key West’s Duval Street has been named one of the 10 Great Streets for 2012.
The honor came this week from the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America program.
The program honors "exceptional character and highlights the role planning and planners play in adding value to communities, including fostering economic growth and jobs."
The planners singled out Duval Street for its collection of wood-framed Victorian structures, variety of uses that serve both tourists and residents, and unique geographic features. The one-mile stretch connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico caters to pedestrians with its wide tree-lined sidewalks and consistent street wall.
"Duval Street is the island of Key West's most historic street. Its vibrant mix of shops, restaurants and tourist accommodations attract a very diverse group of visitors and residents alike," Key West Mayor Craig Cates said. "It is the front door to the only truly subtropical environment in the continental U.S. The street's 190-year history has seen transformation after transformation, from fishing and shipping commercial support area to Naval base support town to its present tourist hot spot status."
"The soul of Key West, Duval Street is an architectural and entertainment mecca," said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer. "The atmosphere here can be festive or quiet, depending on the season, but always present are the street's memorable characteristics given its unique location, buildings and amenities."
Since APA began Great Places in America in 2007, 60 neighborhoods, 60 streets and 50 public spaces have been designated in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The nine other APA 2012 Great Streets are: Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Mo.; Main Street, Bozeman, Mont.; Broadway, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Fifth Avenue, New York City; Wall Street, Kingston, N.Y.; Shaker Boulevard, Cleveland, Shaker Heights and Beachwood, Ohio; Grant Street, Pittsburgh; Broad Street, Charleston, S.C.; and Gay Street, Knoxville, Tenn.