Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance

Last updated May 15, 2019 - 8:53 am
Sir Walter Raleigh Awards for Community Appearance

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2019 Sir Walter Raleigh Awards ceremony will be held Wednesday, October 2, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Raleigh Union Station.

2019 Sir Walter Raleigh Award Nominations are Now Open!

Award Nominations:

Now is your chance to recognize individuals and projects that have contributed an excellent design to our city. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on Friday, June 14 at 5:00 p.m. Anyone can submit nominations through a quick and easy submittal process.

Online Nominations:

1. Prepare a minimum of ten (10) digital photos of the project/individual to include with the nomination.

2. Complete the online Nomination Form, including the digital photos. The web form can be found at

3. Please contact Rotonda McKoy with any questions.

In Person Nominations:

Complete and print an Award Nomination Form, along with photos (hard copies or on a compact disc or flash drive) and bring them to the City Planning office located on the 3rd floor of One Exchange Plaza, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Mail Nominations:

Mail completed Award Nomination Form and photos to:

Raleigh Appearance Commission
Raleigh Department of City Planning
City of Raleigh
P.O. Box 590
Raleigh, NC 27602


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 "Community Impact" category, which honors commitment by individuals and groups to improving Raleigh's quality of life through design. Projects still under construction are not yet eligible.

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.
  • Rehabilitation/Historic Preservation
    Awards in this category are given for preservation or rehabilitation of existing buildings, especially Raleigh's historic resources.
  • Public Facilities
    Awards in this category are for local, state and federal projects including office, and transportation-related facilities.
  • Public Spaces
    Awards in this category are given for projects which enhance the appearance and livability of public areas of the City, including parks, streets, neighborhoods, and churches.
  • Educational
    Awards in this category are for education-related facilities at any level of instruction, including pre-school, elementary, middle, high school, college, or continuing education.
  • Landscape Design
    Awards in this category are for projects that exemplify an integrated approach to resource conservation, 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.
  • Community Impact
    Awards in this category are given for groups or individuals who have created and implemented projects of any scale that enrich the quality of life in Raleigh through design.

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

Selection Criteria

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 the project's green features function, and thoughtful conservation/ enhancement of existing features of the site and the surrounding community.

About the Awards

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


Program Sponsorship Information - Contact Carter Pettibone if you are interested in becoming an event sponsor.

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