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Historic Society recognizes beauty

The Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society (SDCHPS) recently presented its 2020 Beautification Awards to two Queen City properties – a home on Church Street and a business on Alabama Avenue.

According to SDCHPS member David Tipmore, who organized the project, the group decided that the chaos wrought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has surged across the country over the past several weeks, provided the perfect backdrop for honoring beauty in the community.

“2020 has been such a challenging year that the [SDCHPS] board felt it was a great time to initiate these awards,” Tipmore said. “We all could use a little more beauty in our lives at the moment. When better to honor those among us who make our lives a little more beautiful?”

This year’s winners were Debe Henry, whose brick home on Church Street features an immaculately-landscaped yard and enormous front porch, and the Boyd Financial Group, whose compound on Alabama Avenue features a cottage and English-style garden.

“It’s quite an honor,” said Boyd Financial Group’s Beau Boyd. “We try to take care of our little corner down here.”

Boyd said the recent award comes just ahead of plans to renovate the company’s properties, which include three structures that adjoin the downtown compound, by installing another English-style garden in front of the nearby cottage.

Henry could not be reached for comment.

“The organization is pleased to be able to honor these two deserving winners,” Tipmore said. “Their properties are always a pleasure to drive or walk by.”

The SDCHPS launched its awards program earlier this year by honoring the Orrville Farmers Market, owned by Judy McKinney.

“The McKinney family has shown such an interest in preserving and maintaining their property that we couldn’t think of a better place to start,” Tipmore said.

The SDCHPS will select two properties – a residence, a business or one of each – based on the following criteria:

• Owner has made a significant improvement to a blighted property;

• Owner has enhanced the aesthetics of an existing property;

• The property adheres to all city and county ordinances and codes;

• The property maintains high-quality landscaping.

“There were 11 properties nominated and considered by the SDCHPS board this year,” Tipmore said. “We look forward to considering some of them in 2021.”