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Victoria earns 'exceptional merit' honor as pretty painted place

By Sonny Long
Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:29 a.m.


Victoria has been honored with a mention of "Exceptional Merit" in the recently completed Prettiest Painted Places in America competition.

Although Victoria did not win top recognition as a Prettiest Painted Place, it was the only town in Texas and one of only nine nationwide to earn exceptional merit status.

"It's nice any time we are singled out for recognition. I consider this an honor. Victoria stood out above all other Texas entrants," said Gary Dunnam, executive director of Victoria Preservation Inc., who nominated the Original Townsite Historic District for the contest.

Victoria was among 10 finalists in the South Central Region.

The exceptional merit honor was created after the quality of entrants impressed contest organizers.

"Because certain regions were so very competitive, we created a separate category of award for nominees who are not among the winners, but have 'exceptional merit' as beautifully painted places," said Debbie Zimmer, Paint and Color Expert with the Paint Quality Institute that conducted the contest.

The Prettiest Painted Places winners in Victoria's region were Old Arabi Neighborhood, St. Bernard Parish, La.; and Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Mo.

A total of 193 towns were entered in the contest.

"We don't paint our houses wild colors just to attract tourists, but interesting colors bring out the details on historic homes," added Dunnam. "As it turns out, these painted structures are the very thing that tourists and retired senior citizens travel around Texas to see."

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