Colley Avenue in the Ghent section of Norfolk has earned the "People's Choice" designation as one of the Great Places in America in 2015. It was chosen after an online competition among People’s Choice finalists from across the country including Salt Lake City, Florence, Alabama, and South Bend, Indiana, and Somerville, Massachusetts.
Great Places in America is a designation by the American Planning Association celebrating places of exemplary character, quality, and planning.
According to APA, “Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.”
APA’s description of Norfolk’s Colley Avenue:
Stretching for 18 blocks through the core of Norfolk, Virginia's historic Ghent neighborhood, Colley Avenue forms the spine of a classic 19th century grid-pattern street network. The avenue connects residential blocks lined with a mix of stately historic homes, apartments, and townhouses that blend with restaurants, retail, office, and institutional uses.
The avenue's streetscape showcases a blend of architecture ranging from the styles of the 1890s to the modern. The Art Deco facade of the NARO Theater coexists with the modern brick and glass of the Eastern Virginia Medical School Jones Institute.
Dotted throughout its length with generously landscaped stoops, balconies, and outdoor dining, Colley Avenue presents a welcoming pedestrian experience for everyone. The wide sidewalks of its commercial core host activity day and night as outdoor diners mingle with theater patrons and buskers who serenade them all.
A designation ceremony will be held on the street later in November.