Recent Main Street Award

Washington Street Lofts-Best Upper Floor Redevelopment 2014


The Washington Street Lofts are two approximately 700 SF loft apartments that were created on the top floor of the 646 Washington Street building. Built in 1901, this historic building was originally the home of the Bank of Leaksville. Prior to the current renovation, the upper floor consisted of a simple loft apartment in the back of the building. The front half was comprised of four rooms in their original layout of the building. Horsehair plaster, original, badly damaged pine floors and windows, and three evolutions of electrical wiring were just some of the issues to be addressed prior to the renovation. There was no plumbing in the front half of the building and the floors and ceilings sagged.

The loft project created two separate apartments. New electrical, plumbing, HVAC, drywall and custom framing were part of the rehabilitation of this historic building. The renovation was submitted for a This Old House Magazine Renovation award for 2014. Out of 200 entries, the Washington Street Lofts came in at No. 5 for the contest. The cost of the rehabilitation exceeded $35,000 but the owner did most of the work himself.
Washington Street Lofts - Before
Washington Street Lofts - After

RCC Center for Brewing Sciences - Best Innovation 2014


The Rockingham Community College Center for Brewing Sciences is the laboratory component of the Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation program offered by the college; the first program of its kind to be offered in the U.S. Students can either learn how to make beer or mead or become part of the Associate in Applied Science program. The program was started due to the significant growth in the craft beverage industry. All of the ingredients required for beer and mead are grown in Rockingham County and Eden has a close association with beer production having been home to a MillerCoors brewery for more than thirty five years. The objective was to provide the necessary training for potential employees of area breweries, beverage entrepreneurs, and those who simply had an interest in making beer for their pleasure. From the Main Street perspective, we wanted to encourage a microbrewery in the Historic Leaksville downtown area and possibly include a virtual tour of the Miller-Coors facility to create a destination for our community.

RCC wanted to expand its outreach into Rockingham County communities. Creating a beer-oriented program was a natural idea in view of Eden having a major brewery. The RCC President and Eden Downtown Development Corporation Executive Director discussed a downtown location. This would help the college accomplish its outreach goals and for the Historic Leaksville area of Eden to house an innovative program. In the spring of 2012, they met on a Wednesday and by Friday a proposal had been created. Initial funding was included in the city's 2012-2013 budget.
RCC Center for Brewing Sciences - Before
RCC Center for Brewing Sciences - After