The city of Durango reinstated its Design & Development Awards for 2020-21 after a 21-year hiatus. In doing so, the city recognized eight organizations in various categories.
The public was invited to nominate local businesses, nonprofits and public facilities across eight categories through the month of April.
The Design & Development Awards started in 1983 and continued through 2001, said Savannah Lytle, city planner, in an email to The Durango Herald.
Durango brought the program back to highlight positive aspects of design and development within the city, she said.
“The intent of the program was to emphasize how good design and development adds units to housing stock, enhances quality of life, creates a sense of place and develops a resilient, sustainable community,” she said.
Lytle said outstanding development can add housing stock in innovative ways to reach those most in need.
“For example, the winner of the outstanding housing development award was Espero Apartments,” she said. “Espero is the first property in Durango built exclusively to serve those who earn 30% (of area median income) and below, have been homeless and are living with a disabling condition.”
She called the Espero Apartments an “innovative partnership” between BluLine Development and Southwest Housing Solutions.
The city also pursued the Design & Development Awards because it values creating a sense of place within the community, Lytle said. A sense of place is important for the health and sustainability of a community because it represents residents’ relationships with the place they call home.
“It is our story about a place,” she said. “If we create a positive sense of place that the community can relate to and feel a sense of belonging within then that creates place attachment. The place is viewed as valuable and we will want to ensure it has a sustainable future.”
Lytle said the nominees were reviewed by various community development boards and commissions, which selected the winners.
The Design Review Board selected the winners for the categories of Outstanding Bump-out, Outstanding Sign, Outstanding Outdoor Commercial Patio and Outstanding Commercial/Mixed-Use Design.
The Creative Economy Commission selected the winner for the Outstanding Mural category.
And the Planning Commission selected the winners in the categories of Outstanding Sustainability Project, Outstanding Housing Development and Outstanding Community Benefit.
An image gallery of the winning organizations can be viewed on the city’s website at https://bit.ly/38fZTxG.
Winner: Maria’s Bookshop
- Maria’s Bookshop
- Hermosa Coffee
- Lone Spur Café
Winner: Union Social House
- Union Social House
- Zia North
Winner: “Simple Pleasures” by Mariah Kaminsky at the Southwest Center for Independence
- Durango Public Library
- Sage Farm Fresh Eats
- Southwest Center for Independence
- Durango Cyclery
Winner: Durango Botanic Gardens, Annette LeMaire and Bryan Saren
- Durango Botanic Gardens
- Hermosa Café
- Taco Libre
- Mild to Wild
Winner: Durango Herald, RMBA Architects
- Zia North
- Reynolds Ash + Associates Office
- Durango Herald
Winner: Espero Apartments
- Espero Apartments
- Jameson Court
Winner: Good Food Collective
- Durango Public Library Botanic Garden
- Good Food Collective
- Mountain Middle School
Winner: Animas City Night Bazaar/The Hive
- Animas City Night Bazaar Passegiata/The Hive
- Durango Fire Station #3
The Historic Preservation Board recognized two for Outstanding Historic Preservation Sustainability Project and Outstanding Contribution for Maintaining a Historic Structure categories.
Carol and David Grenoble received recognition for Outstanding Contribution for Maintaining a History Structure, for their property at 1001 East Third Ave. And the First Presbyterian Church received recognition under the category of “Outstanding Historic Preservation Sustainability.”