Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance

Last updated May 12, 2015 - 9:53 am
Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance

About the Awards:

The Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance recognizes outstanding new contributions to the character, environment and appearance of the City of Raleigh. Since 1983, the Raleigh City Council has presented more than 200 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards to developers, designers, building owners, community groups, civic clubs, churches and citizens.

2015 Nominations

The Sir Walter Raleigh Awards recognize outstanding new contributions to the character, environment and appearance of the City of Raleigh. This year’s awards feature new submittal categories to highlight innovative projects and designers, and celebrate the positive impact that design has on our community.

Now is your chance to recognize individuals and projects that have contributed excellent design to our city. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on June 4th at 5:00 p.m. Anyone can submit nominations through a quick and easy submittal process.

Electronic Nominations:

  1. Complete the Nomination Form and do a "save as" with your file name as the project name.
  2. Prepare a minimum of ten (10) digital photos of the project/individual.
  3. To submit nominations please send them via email to:
  4. Please contact Rotonda McKoy with any questions.

In Person Nominations:
Complete steps 1. & 2. above and copy to a compact disc (CD) or flash drive and bring them to the Planning & Development office located on the 3rd floor of the One Exchange Plaza (219 Fayetteville Street).

Mail Nominations
Complete steps 1. & 2. above, print and mail to the:

Raleigh Appearance Commission
Planning & Development
City of Raleigh, PO Box 590
Raleigh, NC 27602

Please remember to rename your Nomination Form with the project name prior to electronic submittal or the file will not be accepted.

Individuals or groups nominated for a Sir Walter Raleigh Award must be residents or maintain an established location in the City of Raleigh. All other nominees, programs or projects must be located in the City of Raleigh or its planning jurisdiction. All projects must be substantially complete within the last five years prior to submission, except the "Public Service" category, which honors commitment by individuals and groups to improving Raleigh's appearance. Projects still under construction are not yet eligible.

Entries are evaluated using the following general criteria:

  • Exhibition of a new standard of excellence, thereby providing an example for the future.
  • Demonstration of awareness of the importance of good stewardship of the land.
  • Demonstration of community involvement and innovation.
  • Preservation or restoration of existing topography, trees and other natural features.
  • Significant improvement of an existing site or structure, and/ or preservation of important historic or cultural features.
  • Provision of attractive and safe conditions which meet and exceed requirements of applicable ordinances, policies, conservation areas and designated historic districts and properties.
  • Integration of sustainable building principles, architecture expressive of how project's green features function, and thoughtful conservation/ enhancement of existing features of the site and the surrounding community.

2015 Award Categories

Award Categories:

  • Residential:
    Awards for this category are given for new residential development, conversion to residential use, or improvement made to existing residential areas. The entry may be for either multi-family developments or single-family developments of multiple buildings.
  • Commercial:
    Awards in this category are presented for all types of new retail, office construction, or adaptive use and may include industrial, warehouse or corporate projects that have a positive impact on the city's visual environment.
  • Historic Preservation/Rehabilitation:
    Awards in this category are given for preservation or rehabilitation of existing buildings, especially Raleigh's historic resources.
  • Public Facilities & Spaces:
    Awards in this category are for local, state and federal projects including office, education and transportation-related facilities and may also be given for projects which enhance the appearance and livability of public areas of the City, including parks, streets, neighborhoods, and churches.
  • Landscape Design:
    Awards in this category are for projects that exemplify an integrated approach to resource conservation, a respect for existing features of the site and/or significantly preserve Raleigh's natural features and trees, including exemplary design of utilitarian site elements transformed into public amenities.
  • Public Service:
    Awards in this category are given for groups or individuals who have created and implemented projects of any scale that improve the appearance and/or environment of the City.

Awards are made based on project merit, as determined by the selection criteria. Awards are not necessarily made in every category, nor are there a predetermined number of awards in a category in any given year.


Program Sponsorship Information - Please consider becoming a Program Sponsor!

Information on past award recipients is available by clicking on the links below:

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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