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Victoria regional finalist in Prettiest Painted Places competition

By Sonny Long
Oct. 2, 2012 at 5:02 a.m.


THE PAINT QUALITY INSTITUTE

Founded in 1989, the Paint Quality Institute provides information about quality paints and quality painting practices to a wide variety of audiences. The heart of the Paint Quality Institute is located outside Philadelphia in suburban Spring House, Pa., where it runs one of the largest and most sophisticated paint testing facilities in the world.

Victoria is among 10 finalists in the South Central Region in the 2012 Prettiest Painted Places in America competition.

A total of 193 towns were nominated for the contest sponsored by the Paint Quality Institute.

Gary Dunnam, executive director of Victoria Preservation, Inc., nominated the Original Townsite Historic District. He learned about the contest from LaRue Roth, director of the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"The deadline was just a couple of days away when I decided to enter the contest. I figured I would just sign us up," Dunnam said. "We do have some very nice paint schemes on historic homes in Victoria. I was careful to enter only historic homes and structures."

Contest rules called for a minimum of 15 photographs along with a paragraph about the historic city.

Dunnam said on Tuesday he received the email notifying him that Victoria was among the regional finalists.

Finalists from six geographical regions were chosen by a panel of judges, five from small populations and five from larger populations for a total of 60 finalists.

The South Central Region finalists include two other Texas towns, Bastrop and Graham.

Other finalists in Victoria's region include Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Mo., Lindsborg, Kan., Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District, La., Old Arabi Neighborhood, St. Bernard Parish, La., Ottawa and Franklin County, Kan., the Paseo Arts District, Oklahoma City, Okla. and Spanish Town Neighborhood, Baton Rouge, La.

The Paint Quality Institute has conducted its competition twice before, most recently in 2000.

"The places involved in our competition are a tremendous inspiration to us all. We hope to instill in the public a better appreciation for the role exterior paint can play in protecting and enhancing the appearance of any home or building," Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at PQI, said in a news release.

Later this month, two finalists from each region will be named as the 12 Prettiest Painted Places in America.

Winners will be honored with a certificate and a publicity campaign.

Earlier this year, Victoria was also named as one of the Top 10 Cities for Historic Preservation by the website Liveability.com.

"I am really heartened. Someone out there is taking notice," said Dunnam. "Here's hoping."

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