Walking around downtown, you know you're somewhere special. "It's quirky, it's smart, it's just a little bit off-center. And we like the fact that we can do fun things that have multiple benefits," said Chad Emerson, CEO Downtown Huntsville Inc.
Like book boxes. "In this case you can get a free book, enjoy the public art, and retro-fit these old newspaper racks so it's a win, win, win," said Emerson.
This concept has help downtown Huntsville win big. On Thursday the International Downtown Association honored downtown Huntsville with the Pinnacle Award. "This is the gold medal of downtown events and programming," said Emerson.
Downtown Huntsville-- let that sink in-- among some of the largest cities in the world. "We knew this project hadn't been done before," said Emerson. This is exactly what the IDA was looking for-- innovative and versatile. "There are really large massive projects that only big downtowns can do - but what are projects that any size downtown can do? This would be interesting in Manhattan, in the Chicago loop."
But Emerson says the real key to this success is the collaboration with so many great groups. "We've got a lot of ideas on our whiteboard and what we're going to continue to do is focus on partnerships, because when you partner, you'll find that you bring a lot of expertise to the table."
6 cities in total received the award. Those cities were Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Long Beach and Toronto.